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Biti’s Gender Record Ruined Following Assault Case

Tendai Biti Found Guilty Of Assault!

The verdict rendered on Tuesday in the Harare Magistrates Court case involving Tendai Biti’s verbal assault of businesswoman and investor Mrs. Tatiana Aleshina four years prior is evidence that it is unacceptable to use physical force or macho tactics to subject women and other vulnerable groups to verbal, emotional, physiological, and psychological trauma.

After a four-year trial, Harare magistrate Mrs. Vongai Guwuriro found Biti guilty and ordered him to stay in a cage, promising to not repeat any similar crimes for the next five years in order to escape serving six months in jail on ice instead of paying a US$300 fine.

A jail sentence “would be too harsh,” according to Mrs. Guwuriro, and community service should be “reserved for more serious offences,” but the complainant’s injuries from the assault “cannot be ignored.”

As a lawyer and a member of the National Assembly at the time of the incident, she said, Biti ought to have been aware of how people expected him to conduct himself, especially in public.

Biti was also chastised by Mrs. Guwuriro for wasting the court’s time by submitting “piecemeal” applications for referral to the Constitutional Court.

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Mrs. Tatiana Aleshina informed the court in her victim impact statement that the “terrifying” occurrence had left her with emotional and bodily trauma, necessitating medical attention.

According to her medical records, Biti verbally abused and embarrassed her within the courtroom, leaving her traumatised and suffering from heart palpitations, post-traumatic stress disorder, high blood pressure, and poor self-esteem.

“I felt insulted, humiliated, belittled, and degraded to the lowest level of life as a vulnerable and defenceless woman; being shouted at within the courts of law by a man who is supposed to use the same courts to uphold people’s rights,” Mrs. Aleshina said.

Gender advocate Ms. Elizabeth Parirenyatwa emphasised that Biti’s “gender record” has been “tarnished” by the lengthy legal case, which has gone beyond the US$300 fine that Mrs. Guwuriro ordered him to pay. She celebrated the outcome as “a victory for women,” as they are regaining their voice on “matters of gender equality and mutual respect.”

She remarked, “The assault case, the conviction, and the judgement have brought attention to Tendai Biti’s gender and anger management history.”

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In order for justice to be served, Ms. Parirenyatwa urged women to politely defend their rights. She also gave men advice on how to use the lessons learned from this sad episode to advance a society in which men and women coexist in harmony and happiness.

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