5 February 2019
MDC-A Member of Parliament for Harare East Tendai Biti was back in court yesterday facing two counts of violating the Electoral Act.
The matter proceeded to the defence case after the application for discharge was dismissed by Harare regional magistrate Gloria Takundwa.
Takundwa ruled that after hearing evidence from both counsels, she was of the view that the State proved its case and Biti had to disprove allegations by the State in the defense case.
Biti’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa told the court that they entirely rely on evidence given in the warned and cautioned and statement as well as evidence given in the trial court.
The State led by Tafadzwa Mupariwa went on to cross examine Biti on the said evidence.
Biti confirmed that he held a press conference on July 31 where the State is basing its allegations that in that presser, Biti illegally announced that Nelson Chamisa had won the elections.
On the contrary, Biti said he held the presser to compel ZEC to announce results on time and never at any point declared Chamisa the winner.
“The past two elections, ZEC had taken its time particularly in 2008 before election results were announced, it took five weeks so the press conference was to compel ZEC to announce results before they had been manipulated.
“The State ought to have produced the said video of me saying what they are accusing me of, I announced to our party members that we had won and I also indicated that it was now left for ZEC to make a formal declaration.
“There were many inconsistencies in the election for example in Mash Central ZEC said there were 4000 voters on one station yet stations were supposed to cater for 1000 voters only, that why we had relied on information we received from our election agents across the country.
“The State knows very well that I did not commit this offense but this is just political victimisation,” concluded Biti.
The matter was remanded to February 18.