Chief Court Reporter
The woman who alleges she was manhandled by MDC-Alliance vice president Tendai Biti during an altercation outside Harare Magistrates’ Court at the end of last month has filed a US$1 million claim for damages against Biti and his party over comments published on their Twitter handles.
Ms Tatiana Aleshina made a police report, which has resulted in criminal charges against Biti, and has filed complaints against him with the Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Gender Commission.
Biti is the lawyer for George Katsimberis, who is the defendant in a criminal case with Ms Aleshina as one of the witnesses.
Ms Aleshina allegedly had a heated exchange on November 30 with Biti during which she said she was manhandled. He is now on bail of $10 000 after a night behind bars following his arrest for assault, with provincial head magistrate in Harare, Ms Vongai Muchuchuti, setting the trial for January 18 next year.
In the civil claim filed at the High Court on Monday against Biti and MDC-A, Ms Aleshina and Augur Investments seek payment of US$1 million for damages suffered as a result of what they see as defamatory comments published by Biti and his party on their twitter accounts on or about December 4 and again by Biti on December 13.
In addition Ms Aleshina and Augur wants the tweets removed, and also the MDC-A to publish a retraction and apology to the plaintiffs in three widely circulating newspapers in Zimbabwe.
Biti and the MDC-A have 10 days to respond to the claim.