Biti Parly return blocked
BY MOSES MATENGA/DESMOND CHINGARANDE – NEWSDAY
The readmission of MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti and five other recalled People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MPs to Parliament has been blocked again after their political adversary Benjamin Rukanda appealed the High Court judgment that reinstated the MPs at the Supreme Court.
Last week, High Court judge Justice Joseph Mafusire ordered that Biti and his five colleagues be readmitted as MPs, describing Rukanda, who had recalled them purporting to be the PDP secretary-general, as a hired gun.
Justice Mafusire said Rukanda had no basis to recall the MPs that include former Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya, Willias Madzimure (Kambuzuma), Kucaca Phulu (Nkulumane), Regai Tsunga (Mutasa South), and Sichelesile Mahlangu (Pumula), and blasted him for acting as if there were some elements blowing wind beneath his wings.
Chikwinya yesterday said they were only notified of the appeal by Rukanda after a decision had been made.
He said the whole issue exposed the hidden Zanu PF hand in the whole saga, adding that they would not waste time trying to return to Parliament, but fight to ensure an emphatic victory by the MDC Alliance in the next elections.
“Rukanda, Lucia Matibenga and other Zanu PF sponsored individuals who are working against the MDC Alliance and the elected people of Zimbabwe who were in Parliament did the obvious and appealed against the judgment of Judge Mafusire,” Chikwinya said.
He said this was the third time that Rukanda and Matibenga had appealed against the ruling and under the circumstances, their return to Parliament remained on hold.
Over 40 MDC Alliance MPs have been recalled since last year after a Supreme Court judgment that nullified the appointment of Nelson Chamisa as MDC-T leader.
Meanwhile, Biti has been accused of deliberately delaying the trial of two Harare men who are being accused of erecting an illegal billboard discouraging people from buying a piece of land in Borrowdale, Harare.
The pair, Grant Russel and Mark Strathen, represented by Biti, is being charged with criminal nuisance.
When they appeared on their previous remand date, Biti requested further particulars from the State saying the trial could not start without some documents, but he allegedly failed to collect them.
Yesterday, when the duo appeared before Harare magistrate Shane Kubonera, Biti again requested the same documents.
Prosecutor Shambidzeni Fungura, however, told Kubonera that the documents were ready, but had not been collected.
Fungura accused Biti of delaying the court process.
Kubonera, however, ordered the State to furnish Biti with the papers before end of day yesterday and postponed the matter to October 8 for trial.