HARARE – MDC Alliance vice president and lawyer Tendai Biti was arrested and charged with assault on Friday after attending a police station by appointment.
Biti’s arrest follows an incident at the Harare Magistrates Court on November 30 where there was an exchange of words between him and Russian national Tatiana Aleshina, who is involved in a property dispute with one of Biti’s clients.
Biti, who denies wrongdoing, admits calling Aleshina an “idiot”, but maintains that there was no physical confrontation.
Writing on Twitter, Biti said: “I have been stuck at CID Law and Order since 11AM being charged with the most spurious ,the most desperate of all charges.
“It is said I called someone an idiot and that is said to be an assault. No amount of harassment will prevent us from fighting and exposing corruption. They want to detain me overnight, so be it.”
In a statement, the MDC Alliance said: “Biti’s only crime is unearthing a corruption scandal concerning the Harare Airport Road land deal involving the complainant, Russian national Tatiana Aleshina, and businessmen linked to (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa. Biti didn’t assault her.”
Biti tweeted that the Harare Airport Road project was “a total stink where thousands of of hectares of land were illegally and fraudulently transferred to Augur Investments and its shelf companies.”
“That land must be returned to the City of Harare and its residents.”