ZIMBABWEAN MDC MEMBER, ROY BENNETT FREED


Zimbabwe’s authorities have freed MDC official Roy Bennett from custody, a day after the country’s Supreme Court ordered his release on bail.

Mr Bennett said Zimbabwe was a country “where the rule of law means nothing”.

A nominee to be deputy agriculture minister in the unity government, Mr Bennett was arrested last month on the day ministers were sworn in.

He was charged with plotting terrorism, possessing arms for the purposes of banditry, terrorism and sabotage.

The case raised tensions in the new unity administration, formed last month, with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials accusing President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF of trying to derail a power-sharing arrangement.

Dozens of MDC supporters cheered as Mr Bennett emerged from jail in the eastern town of Mutare on Thursday morning.

He told the BBC he was ready to work under the unity government but added his immediate future in Zimbabwe was uncertain.

Zimbabwean reporter Brian Hungwe says it is not clear whether he will now take up his ministerial post.

“I could be re-arrested at any time, there could be attempts of my life,” he said. “I have no idea.

“You are dealing with totally unpredictable people and a nation where the rule of law means nothing.”

He added: “I bear no grudges and I have certainly forgiven those that have done it.

“And I have prayed in their name that they may be forgiven for the state of affairs there is.”

After weeks of legal wrangling, on Wednesday Supreme Court Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku – who is seen as an ally of President Mugabe – ordered Mr Bennett’s release on $5,000 (£3,600) bail.

The judge also tightened bail conditions, ordering the politician to report to a police station three times a week and surrender his passport and title deeds for his house.

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