Biti challenges conviction

MDC Alliance principal and former Finance minister, Tendai Biti has approached the High Court challenging his conviction and sentence by the lower court.

Biti who was last week convicted and sentenced for contravening the Electoral Act after he announced 2018 election results unlawfully is challenging his conviction at the High Court.

Biti was also convicted of declaring Nelson Chamisa, the MDC Alliance presidential candidate as the winner of the 2018 elections.

He was convicted on both counts and was sentenced to seven day imprisonment with an option of a $200 fine.

On another count he was sentenced to six months imprisonment which was wholly suspended on condition of good behaviour by Harare magistrate Gloria Takundwa.

Through his lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Alec Muchadehama, Biti said the magistrate misdirected herself.

“The magistrate grossly erred in convicting and sentencing the accused,” said Mtetwa.

“The magistrate also misdirected herself in failing to consider pre-trial violations of the accused rights and the legality of his arrest,” said the lawyer.

Biti insists that he was unlawfully before the local court as he was “abducted” from Zambia.

It is his defence that he was supposed to appear before a Zambian court the day he was arrested and there is a Zambian High Court order to confirm that position.

He is insisting that Takundwa had no jurisdiction to hear his case.

In his application, Biti also said he also announced official results which were first posted outside polling stations by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

The State alleged that he unlawfully announced results before ZEC against the Electoral Act.