Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s second application for recusal of Harare Magistrate Vongai Guurira Muchuchuti in a case in which he is facing charges of manhandling Russian investor Ms Tatiana Aleshina outside Harare Magistrates Court has been dismissed again.
Biti late last year made such an application, but it was dismissed by the same magistrate, prompting him to appeal against her ruling at the High Court.
In her ruling, Muchuchuti said that if a court makes a decision that is against an accused person it does not mean it is biased and that justice does not mean the litigant gets what they want. Biti argued that the magistrate is biased.
Chitapi added that higher courts were also “very reluctant” to intervene in matters that were pending before lower courts. Chitapi ruled:
If every decision by a presiding officer that one party disagreed with could go to a higher court on review or appeal while the matter was still in progress, then delays would be intolerable.
In rare cases where someone’s rights could be seriously infringed otherwise, a higher court could intervene, but this is very rare.
Meanwhile, the row between Biti and Russian Tatiana Aleshina continues on other fronts with the two currently suing each other at the High Court.
Aleshina sued Biti for defamation while the CCC vice president, in turn, sued her for causing his “wrongful arrest and detention”.
The trial is set to continue on May 27, 2022.