Zim­babwe thrust back into tur­moil

Se­nior op­po­si­tion leader de­tained af­ter asy­lum bid fails in neigh­bour­ing Zam­bia

StarMetro Edmonton - - BIG OPINIONS -

Tendai Biti’s lawyer says he was “un­law­fully ab­ducted.”

“We will keep on fight­ing,” Biti said as he ar­rived at court in the cap­i­tal, Harare. The charge of in­cit­ing pub­lic vi­o­lence could bring up to a decade in prison, while the charge of declar­ing un­of­fi­cial elec­tion re­sults car­ries a max­i­mum six-month sen­tence. He was granted $5,000 bail but must sur­ren­der his pass­port, re­port to au­thor­i­ties twice a day and not ad­dress po­lit­i­cal ral­lies.

Biti’s plight has raised con­cerns that the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, who nar­rowly won the first elec­tion af­ter the fall of Robert Mu­gabe, will treat the op­po­si­tion just as harshly as be­fore de­spite prom­ises of re­forms. The op­po­si­tion says it is pre­par­ing a le­gal chal­lenge to the elec­tion re­sults, call­ing them fraud­u­lent.

Shortly af­ter Biti’s hear­ing, Mnan­gagwa said he had been re­leased “fol­low­ing my in­ter­ven­tion,” with­out giv­ing de­tails. In a se­ries of posts on Twit­ter, the pres­i­dent said the case would con­tinue “due to the se­ri­ous na­ture of the al­le­ga­tions.” He called on all par­ties to cease in­cite­ment and vi­o­lence.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.