World Watch: Bennett behind bars

By Kelly Adams

On 13 February 2009, Roy Bennett from Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, was arrested and charged with treason and terrorism in the country’s capital, Harare.

On 13 February, the MDC joined ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe’s ruling party, to create a power-sharing cabinet. This power-sharing deal was mediated by South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki, and has been guaranteed by the South African Development Community and the African Union.

Bennett, who was due to be installed in Zimbabwe’s Unity Government’s Agricultural Ministry, now potentially faces a life sentence if convicted. According to The Telegraph, “Livingstone Chipadza, a magistrate in Mutare, ruled that the state had succeeded in establishing reasonable suspicion that the accused committed the offence.”

Despite being granted bail on 24 February, Bennett had to remain in jail until 3 March to allow Attorney General Johannes Tomana’s appeal against bail to be processed.

From prison, Bennett sent an inspirational message of hope to all Zimbabweans through his lawyer.

“Whatever these challenges, if we remain unwaveringly dedicated, we will achieve peace, freedom and democracy in our life time – believe me.”


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