The United States says it is monitoring the arrest of Movement for Democratic Change Alliance vice president, Tendai Biti, who is facing charges of assault and was on Saturday remanded out of custody on ZWL$10,000 bail.
In a tweet, Tibo Nagy, Assistant secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs, said, “A democracy cannot thrive when public servants are targeted for exposing corruption. The United States will continue to monitor Tendai Biti’s case closely.”
In an earlier tweet, U.S. Embassy Harare expressed concern over the arrest of Biti, who allegedly assaulted Russian business women, Tatiana Elesha, while she was going home after attending a court case in November.
“A true democracy leaves no space for arbitrary arrests of opposition political figures. We will watch the developments closely in Tendai Biti’s case.”
Elesha claims that Biti insulted her while she was walking out a Harare court with her workmates - Simbarashe Kadye and Van Blerk Michael John. Biti is said to be representing Elesha’s worker, George Katsimberis, who allegedly defrauded her company.
The state claims that the complainant never said anything in response to the accused’s utterances. “As a result of the accused’s actions and assault on her, the complainant felt humiliated, shocked and shaken and was hospitalized at Borrowdale trauma center for treatment as her condition deteriorated. The complainant felt belittled by the accused’s actions.”
The MDC Alliance president is expected to appear in court on January 18, 2021.