Tsvangirai aide back in jail

Zimbabwean court orders MDC treasurer detained ahead of trial on terrorism charges.

    Roy Bennett was first jailed in February, but was released a month later on bail [AFP]

    He denies the charges against him.

    'Terrorism' plot

    Bennett was first jailed for a month in February on charges of plotting "terrorism", but was later released on bail in March.

    A white coffee farmer whose property was seized under the previous government's controversial land reform programme, Bennett is Tsvangirai's pick as deputy agriculture minister in the country's unity government.

    But Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has refused to swear him in until he is acquitted of the charges.

    Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February after months of political wrangling, but differences between the former rivals remain.

    The prime minister's party on Wednesday accused Mugabe's Zanu-PF party of being behind Bennett's indictment.

    It called the court order "another serious attack on the credibility of the inclusive
    government".

    "Zanu-PF has invented yet another technicality to have him detained without trial on trumped-up charges of banditry and terrorism," a party statement said.

    "The banditry charges are trumped-up and they poison the letter and spirit of the inclusive government" and the unity deal, it added.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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