Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa on Monday announced that she will hand down her ruling on 18 February 2019 in a matter where MDC National Deputy Chairperson Tendai Biti is accused of contravening the Electoral Act.
The defence case took of Monday after the magistrate dismissed the application for discharge at the end of state case.
“During his trial today, Biti told Magistrate Gloria Takundwa that he is worried about selective application of the law in Zimbabwe and that his arrest and prosecution was a form of political victimisation by his political foes.” Zimbabwe Lawyrs for Human Rights said.
He is accused of unlawfully and unofficially announcing the 30 July 2018 presidential election results. Biti, the Vice-Chairperson of the MDC-Alliance party was arrested on 8 August 2018 after being returned from Zambia under unclear circumstances.
He was initially charged with contravening section 66(A)(1) of the Electoral Act for allegedly announcing the results of the presidential elections held in July 2018, as well as contravening section 36(1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Biti is represented by Beatrice Mtetwa and Alec Muchadehama, who are members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Biti will stood trial on allegations of violating section 66A(1)(a) – unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited, as well as section 66A(1)(b) – unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited.
The State alleges that Biti, who is currently out of custody on bail, unlawfully and unofficially purportedly announced or purportedly declared that the MDC-Alliance party had won the harmonised elections held on 30 July 2018 when in actual fact the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials, who are mandated to make the declaration had not yet declared the official results or winner, in contravention of the Electoral Act.Byo24