Tendai Biti deported, to appear in court 2pm

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By Anna Chibamu

EMBATTLED MDC Alliance co-principal Tendai Biti was deported from Zambia last night and was set to appear at the Harare magistrates’ court this Thursday afternoon.

The Harare East MP-elect, wanted for offences related to inciting public violence, had crossed into neighbouring Zambia on Wednesday while seeking asylum.

But even after successfully reaching Zambian territory, authorities in the northern neighbour refused him asylum on that the grounds of his application were “weak”.

A Zambian court issued an order for his deportation to be stopped but authorities still went ahead and deported him.

“Biti has been removed from the Zambian soil and has been formerly arrested by Zimbabwean authorities,” Biti’s Zambian lawyer Gilbert Phiri told Thursday, adding, “I am not sure of the charges against Biti at this moment though.”

Biti has been in hiding since last week when wild skirmishes broke out in central Harare over the MDC Alliance’s electoral defeat by Zanu PF.

Six people were shot dead by the army while over a dozen were injured.

Police last Friday said they were keen to question Biti for allegedly inciting violence.

Meanwhile, Phiri says the Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities have broken the law by by-passing a court order in which Biti was supposed to go for a hearing over his application for an asylum in Lusaka Thursday morning.

“Despite us obtaining a court order to stop the deportation, the authorities of both countries have failed to abide by their constitutions and worked against the law to deport our client.

“A court order has not been set aside to allow hearings to proceed before a court of justice in Zambia and we are taking action against the officials who have ignored this order and deported Biti back to Zimbabwe.”