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Zimbabwe PM's Ally Charged With Treason


A key opposition figure and ministerial nominee in Zimbabwe has been charged with treason after being detained by security agents shortly before Friday's swearing in of the new Cabinet.

Movement for Democratic Change officials said Roy Bennett had been arrested at an airport while trying to fly out of Zimbabwe.

MDC party officials said initially no reason was given for Bennett's arrest, but later officials said he had been charged with treason.

Bennett is a white farmer, whose property was expropriated under President Mugabe's land reform program. Several years ago, he fled to South Africa when police wanted to question him in connection with the discovery of an arms cache.

He has been nominated to become deputy minister of agriculture.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in Wednesday after months of wrangling over details on how to share power with long-time President Robert Mugabe, amid worsening economic conditions and the continued detention of several human rights activists.

During Friday's ceremony, foreign news agencies are also reporting that several more ministers than expected were sworn in.

Factions of the former opposition won legislative elections last year.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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