Senior Zimbabwe opposition figure Biti arrested at border: lawyer

Senior Zimbabwean opposition figure Tendai Biti was arrested as he tried to flee to neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum, his lawyer said Wednesday, allegedly on charges of inciting violence over the disputed election result.

In last week’s vote, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe’s former ally, narrowly retained power, but the opposition MDC party has accused the electoral authority of rigging the result.

Supporters of the MDC took to the streets on August 1 to protest the alleged fraud, triggering a brutal response from the military which opened fire on the demonstrators leaving six people dead.

The day before the protests — and before the final presidential results were announced — Biti held a press conference at the Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) headquarters in Harare claiming victory for the party.

READ MORE: Zim opposition leaders targeted for assassination, claims Tendai Biti

Biti, who also alleged electoral fraud, is a senior figure in the MDC alliance and was the respected finance minister in Zimbabwe’s troubled 2009-13 power-sharing government.

“He was arrested at the Zambian border,” Biti’s lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo told AFP, adding by text message that he was trying to seek asylum.

The police were not immediately available to comment.

The state-run Chronicle newspaper said Tuesday that Biti was among nine suspects being sought for inciting the protests when the army opening fire.

Police detective Portia Chinho told the paper they were wanted for “participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence”.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Nthikeng Mohlele comes up short with ‘The Discovery of Love’

The talented novelist Nthikeng Mohlele’s debut short-story collection lacks the vitality that makes short stories magical

What is at root of white anxiety in post-apartheid South...

Some white people think any discussion of racism or its legacy is an attempt to shame or condemn them for the ‘sin’ of their whiteness

OPINION| ANC’s socialist thinking is crushing South Africa’s future

The Cold War ended more than three decades ago. That period of history showed that socialism, at a country scale, is unsustainable

Suicide cases soar in Zimbabwe

The economic crisis in the country appears to be pushing people over the mental edge
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×