Zim court relaxes Tendai Biti’s bail conditions – report

Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti's bail conditions have reportedly been relaxed after a Harare court "cancelled his reporting terms". 

Tendai Biti

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the development came after Biti, through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama made an application for the cancellation of his reporting conditions, arguing that they were not serving any purpose.

Biti, a veteran figure in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was arrested after he was deported by Zambian authorities last month when he tried to seek an asylum in that country following a deadly post-election crackdown.

He faced charges of inciting violence and violating Zimbabwe’s electoral act, AFP reported 

The MDC was defeated in July’s historic first elections since the military ousted former president Robert Mugabe in November.

Mugabe’s successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner by a narrow margin – a result the opposition has furiously contested, alleging fraud.

Deadly violence 

Biti, an internationally-respected finance minister in Zimbabwe’s troubled 2009-2013 power-sharing government, had proclaimed a victory for the opposition before the official announcement of the results.

According to Zimbabwe’s state-run Chronicle newspaper, he was among nine suspects alleged to have incited protests over alleged rigging.

The army opened fire with live ammunition on the opposition protesters, killing seven people and prompting an international outcry.

Passing judgement this week, magistrate, Elisha Singamo said there was no genuine reason why Biti should continue reporting to the police as the state was in possession of his title deed and passport.

Singamo said that the state had failed to prove to the court that Biti was a flight risk.

Biti was expected back in court for trial on October 17, said the Herald.

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