Reprieve for Biti as court alters bail conditions

By Staff Writer

A ZIMBABWEAN court on Wednesday ordered authorities to return the passport for human rights lawyer and member of Parliament Tendai Biti and title deeds to his residential property, which were being held as part of
his bail conditions.

Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa granted the order after Biti’s
lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Alec Muchadehama, Gift Mtisi, Jeremiah Bamu
and Doug Coltart filed an application for the alteration of his bail
conditions based on changed circumstances since the opposition
political party leader was no longer facing charges of committing
public violence.

Magistrate Takundwa ruled that it is befitting that Biti regains his
passport since he had shown that he will not abscond from the court’s
jurisdiction.

However, Magistrate Takundwa maintained the gag order imposed against
Biti of not addressing press conferences until his matter is finalised
and ordered him to continue residing at his Harare residence each time
he would be in Zimbabwe.

Biti returns to court on 21 January 2019 for continuation of his trial
proceedings.

Biti is on trial on charges of contravening section 66A(1)(a) and
66A(1)(b) of the Electoral Act and was arrested on 8 August 2018 after
he allegedly unlawfully and unofficially announced the 30 July 2018
presidential election results. He pleaded not guilty to the charges
when his trial commenced on Monday 10 December 2018.