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Zimbabwe military not involved in Biti arrest

by Staff reporter
21 Aug 2018 at 15:56hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Army has nothing to do with the arrest of MDC-Alliance principal Tendai Biti, a senior police officer said yesterday.

Chief Superintendent Jealous Nyabasa made the remarks while being cross-examined by Biti's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa in a matter in which her client is facing allegations of contravening the Electoral Act and inciting public violence after the July 30 harmonised elections.

Mtetwa pressed Chief-Supt Nyabasa to admit that Biti was abducted by members from the ZNA from Zambia and handed over to him for arrest at Chirundu border post on the Zimbabwean side.

"I am not aware of fact that the accused was abducted by members of the army because this was an operation that I over saw and no member from the army was involved," said the witness.

Mtetwa further interrogated Chief-Supt Nyabasa to explain who was involved the harassment of the accused's mother, his brother Stephen and other friends.

"CRB937 says police was involved in a reign of terror on the accused's family members. Did you have a search warrant to ransack the house belonging to the accused's mother?

"According to the accused's testimony, state agents ransacked his mom's house," enquired Mtetwa.

Responded Chief-Supt Nyabasa: "The police never raided the accused's mom's house and I do not know of any state agents who ransacked his mom's house. The police only launched a nationwide hunt premised on a lawful search warrant that was lawfully executed.

"Regarding the harassment of his brother Stephen, he was not harassed as alleged but was lawfully arrested and placed in police custody after suspicion that he was driving a vehicle suspected to have been smuggled in the country."

After the cross-examination, the State led by Michael Reza re-examined Chief-Supt Nyabasa and asked why it was wrong for the accused to announce presidential election results.

"The Electoral Act says the results are only announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission," he said.

After re-examination, the defence notified the court that it will file its response on tomorrow while the State will file its responses on August 28.

Magistrate Francis Mapfumo said he will hand down his judgment on August 30.

Biti is challenging the legality of his appearance before magistrate Mapfumo saying the court has no jurisdiction to hear his matter but the High Court in Zambia.

Source - hmetro