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Court conviction haunts Tendai Biti

by Staff reporter
19 Apr 2023 at 06:52hrs | Views
DAGGERS have been drawn in Harare East constituency where some voters are plotting to block attempts by incumbent Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Tendai Luxon Biti, from competing to retain the seat.

Sources inside the CCC, claim that Biti's opponents intend to prevent him from running in the upcoming parliamentary election as a result of Biti's criminal conviction and sentencing by a local magistrate.

The politician was found guilty by the court for declaring that Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the CCC party, had won the contentious presidential elections that took place in July 2018.

Biti was on trial for "unofficial and false announcement of results" and Magistrate Gloria Takundwa fined him $200 or alternatively he would spend six months in prison for the offense.

The lawyer-cum-politician was accused of trying to flee the country to Zambia, but was arrested and deported.

He attempted to appeal his conviction and sentence at the High Court, but the application was denied before attempting to make another appeal at Supreme Court but abandoned the process mid-way and the conviction still stands.

Per the nation's Constitution, a politician loses his eligibility to run for public office if he receives a sentence of six months or more in prison,

As a result, some voters in Harare East are calling for nominations for the former finance minister to be withdrawn. They argue that he is no longer fit to hold parliamentary office due to his conviction.

"He should not be allowed to contest in Harare East as this will be contrary to the Constitution that bars all criminal convicts from contesting and holding public office. We expect Biti, a lawyer, to have resolved his issues with the courts, but he didn't and this is now affecting his next term of office," one Harare East voter said.

CCC is currently conducting presidential, parliamentary and local council internal nominations ahead of general elections expected in July and August.

Biti is among aspiring MPs seeking election in Harare East. A top lawyer, Biti has been an opposition MP since 2000. Efforts to get comment from Biti were fruitless by the time of publishing.

Source - Zim Morning Post