Zimbabwe police say
they have dropped treason charges against Roy Bennet of the Movement forDemocratic Chang (MDC),
but still plan to bring him to court Monday to face other charges. Lawyers for Bennett, a former MDC treasurer
and ally of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, say he will be charged with attempting
to commit acts of terrorism, insurgency and banditry.
Bennet was arrested Friday, shortly before he
was to be sworn in as deputy minister of agriculture in the new Zimbabwe unity
Nelson Chamisa is former MDC spokesman and now minister for communication
in the new inclusive government. Speaking as a spokesman for the MDC, he told VOA Bennet has committed no crime and must be
not yet quite served with the actual and true character of the charges, but
what I can say is that we are looking forward to the release of our treasurer.
We are aware that he has no case to answer. He has not committed any crime, and
he is innocent. In fact this is politically motivated and therefore we need a
political solution. We have asked our inclusive government to come into play
and make sure that Mr. Bennet is released," he said.
blamed the Bennet charges on those he said are doing everything to jeopardize
the new unity government.
you must understand is that we have certain elements who are not happy with the
idea of an inclusive government for various reasons, and these forces are
obviously the ones that are responsible for the mischief we are seeing because
they would want to destabilize, they would want to jeopardize the inclusive
government," Chamisa said.
said the charges are politically motivated and the MDC was dealing with them
are dealing with this matter politically, and in as much as the legal process
may actually be followed, it would be just the question of going through the
motion. But the answer is a political solution because these charges are
politically motivated with political implications. And that is why I said we
are dealing with the matter," Chamisa said.
said the MDC was not consulted about possible charges against Mr. Bennet. He
suggested that certain elements of the previous government might be trying to
take advantage of the transitional nature of the unity government.
must say that this said inclusive government is beginning to take shape and
form; it is beginning to locate its own position, and so not enough is being
done in terms of gaining momentum, credibility, and strength of its own. So
there are certain elements that are trying to utilize this transitional period
to do all sorts mischievous acts. But I must say that it is a temporary phase.
It is just what I will call some minor turbulence," he said.
described as strange the feelings of the MDC working with Robert Mugabe's
ZANU-PF in a unity government arrangement having fought for so long against the
Mugabe administration for democratic reforms.
feels strange, challenging, and of course the anxiety that you can't really
have that absolute trust or confidence because of years to years tension and
condescension. But I must say that at the end of the day it is Zimbabwe that
will have to bring us together. We have to serve the suffering people, the
dying people, the humanitarian challenges that are gripping this country, the
economic hemorrhage, and more importantly we need to democratize our country,"