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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Receives Threatening Letter

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a top official for the Movement for Democratic Change, says he has received a threatening letter with a bullet inside.

Biti says he received a letter Friday and felt there was something inside. He said he decided to throw it away, suspecting it was some article associated with traditional healing. He was in Johannesburg for the weekend.

He said the envelope was retrieved from his garbage can early Monday, and he saw there was a note wrapped around what he believes is a nine millimeter bullet.

The note said 'remember the leaders' written in his mother tongue, Shona.

Biti said he is not frightened by the letter, but is worried for his family. He said he sent the note, envelope and bullet to the secret service.

Assistant Police Inspector Wayne Bvudzijena said he did not know of the incident.

Biti, a lawyer by profession, but MDC economic affairs secretary for several years, was appointed finance minister in February.

Days after being sworn into office, and with an almost bare public purse, he managed to find enough money to pay civil servants for the first time in many months so they could afford to buy food.

He was arrested several times before the current inclusive government was formed and was assaulted repeatedly, along with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in early 2007. Biti was charged with treason by the former government, and was detained after last year's elections.