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Death threats for Biti

BY MOSES MATENGA

MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti said unknown assailants besieged his law firm while others called on his mobile phone threatening him with death over his remarks that Zanu PF was responsible for all Covid-19 deaths.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed the threats on the top lawyer after receiving a distress call that unidentified men and a woman were affixing cardboard boxes at his offices with threatening messages.

According to the lawyers, they had in the morning received another distress call that Biti had been arrested in Karoi before he was released without charge.

Biti told The Standard yesterday that he was worried about the threats particularly on his law firm and family.

“I am a bit distressed because they have gone to my office and threatened my caretaker and threatened also to burn my office. The number that called me last night has been sending me threatening messages saying they want to kill me,” he said.

“I don’t know which one of my tweets offended them, but I did not celebrate any death. I just said government must take full responsibility.”

In his tweet that drew the ire of Zanu PF prompting the ruling party’s spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo to issue a statement, Biti wrote: “The regime must take full responsibility of [MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi] Mahere’s situation. It must take full responsibility of every Zimbabwean who has succumbed to Covid-19. Misgovernance, cluelessness and recklessness are crimes against humanity.”

Mahere tested positive for Covid-19 after spending over a week in remand prison.

Added Biti yesterday: “My worry now is the attack on my law firm, the attack on my family and the threats saying they will come to my office and to my place.”

“I did not celebrate any death. I have lost people, I lost a brother-in-law to Covid-19 and why should I celebrate?”

Zanu PF issued a statement on Friday attacking Biti for shifting the blame on the ruling party and describing the veteran lawyer’s posts as “ridiculous.”

“It’s unfortunate that politically immature characters like Tendai Biti have sought to derive political capital out of such an unfortunate health challenge bedevilling not only Zimbabwe, but the world at large,” Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said.

The MDC Alliance accused Zanu PF of seeking to get officials of the opposition party, including its national vice-chairman Job Sikhala, infected with Covid-19 through continued incarceration.

Harare mayor Jacob Mafume is currently in isolation after two inmates he shared a cell with died from Covid-19.

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