He could be put to death if found guilty.
Bright Matonga, Zimbabwe’s deputy information minister, told Al Jazeera that “Tendai Biti who was on the run decided to come back and hand himself over to the police”.
“He is facing two counts – one is treason and the second is publishing false statements.”
The opposition also says that more than 60 of its supporters have been killed since the initial polling as part of an organised campaign of intimidation.
|Tsvangirai has been detained four times in
the last eight days while campaigning [AFP]
Nqobizitha Mlilo, a senior MDC official, told Al Jazeera that“whatever charges may be, the point remains that this is unnecessary harassment on the leadership of the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe”.
“What the people of Zimbabwe want is change and that change is represented by Mr Tendai Biti, Nelson Chamisa, Roy Bennett – the leadership of the MDC in general – and president Tsvangirai.
“This is what the focus should be: to give the people of Zimbabwe a new beginning and a new life.”
Biti left the country shortly after he had declared that the MDC had won the general elections, despite official results not yet being released.
A senior SADC official announced on Thursday that the first batch of 120 observers had begun fanning out across Zimbabwe and said more than 400 should be in place by polling day.
Forty African leaders, including former heads of state, business leaders, academics and diplomats, said in an open letter published on Friday that it was “crucial” that the run-off be seen as “free and fair”.
“It is crucial for the interests of both Zimbabwe and Africa that the upcoming elections are free and fair,” they said.
Signatories included Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general.
UN action urged
Also calling for action from the UN is the US. The White House urged the Security Council on Thursday to take up immediate consideration of the situation in Zimbabwe after reports of “state-sponsored violence” and political arrests there.
“We believe the time has come for the United Nations Security Council to take up immediately the issue to prevent further deterioration of the region’s humanitarian and security situation,” Dana Perino, the White House spokesperson, said.
Perino said the US was “deeply troubled” by Biti’s arrest.