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Biti challenges conviction and sentence at High Court

By Reagan Mashavave

Harare- Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A) vice chairperson and top lawyer, Tendai Biti has challenged his conviction and sentence at the magistrate’s court after he was fined $200 for declaring 2018 election results, rights lawyers said Monday.

“Human rights lawyer and MDC-Alliance vice-chairperson Hon. Tendai Biti has filed an appeal in the High Court challenging his conviction and sentence for contravening some provisions of the electoral act,”the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a statement.

Biti was convicted last week by Harare magistrate Gloria Takundwa for “unofficial or false declaration of results” last year after the disputed August 2018 polls.

He was sentenced to seven days in prison or $200 fine.

Biti, the Harare East legislator through his lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Alec Muchadehama appealed against the lower court’s decision at the High Court arguing that the magistrate’s “grossly erred and misdirected herself.”

Biti was arrested last year at Chirundu border post between Zimbabwe and Zambia as he fleeing the country following threats on his life.

Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis has been worsening since the disputed elections last year after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner of the July 31 2018 elections.

Several people were shot dead by the army who were protesting delays in the announcement of the 2018 election results and over a dozen were killed this year after a mass stay away against economic hardships.

MDC-Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa,41, has claimed he won last year’s elections although he lost his constitutional court challenge of the results.

 

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