Harare – The trial for MDC-Alliance principal Tendai Biti, who is facing charges of inciting violence, is expected to start on November 12 before a Harare magistrates.
Biti through his lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa, Alec Muchadehama, Harrison Nkomo, Gift Mtisi and Denford Halimani, has indicated that he wants to go to the High Court to challenge his arrest which says was not legal.
The trial comes at a time when Biti has been implicated in the August 1 violent clashes by a witness who testified before the commission of inquiry.
Testifying in the public hearings underway at a Harare Hotel, Stella Matsengarwodzi, a witness said she saw Biti addressing the youths who then started denouncing President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Soon after Biti spoke his car sped off and the remaining mob started chanting Chamisa Chamisa is who we want not Mnangagwa,” she said.
Matsengarwodzi said it shortly was after this the demonstrators attacked the Zanu pf headquarters.
In court Biti, however, indicated that he would like to be tried after the High Court appeal. The trial is set for 12 November.
Biti was arrested at the Zambian border post after he tried to cross into the neighbouring country seeking asylum claiming he was running away from persecution by the state security.
Biti told the court that his mother, brother and nephew were harassed by unidentified men who went to his mother’s house looking for him. He claimed that gunshots were fired at his brother when he was on his way to Bindura in the company of his minor children.
Biti said on August 2, there was an attempt on his life by unidentified people driving unmarked vehicles.
He is out on $5 000 bail which was granted by Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo.
Biti is also facing charges of contravening Section 66A(1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13, which prohibits the unofficial or false declaration of election results.
He is alleged to have unlawfully declared opposition party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa as the winner of the presidential elections on July 30.
The Zimbabwean law states that only the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson is empowered to declare the winner of an election.
Uladi is appearing for the State along with Mr Michael Reza, Chipo Muronda and Jonathan Murombedzi.