Mugabe’s ‘nephew’ takes opposition member’s passport

2010-05-13 15:00

There has been yet another twist in the Roy Bennett saga in

Zimbabwe.

The controversial opposition member’s passport was removed from the

Mutare magistrate’s court where it had been deposited as a bail condition.

The state confirmed yesterday that it had decided to contest the

high court ruling acquitting Bennett, effectively putting on ice any possibility

of him being sworn in as a government minister in President Robert Mugabe’s

administration.

After his acquittal in the Harare High Court on Monday, Bennett

travelled to Mutare (about 250km east of Harare) on Tuesday to collect his bail

money, property title deeds and passport.

Upon arriving at the magistrate’s court at Zimbabwe’s eastern

border town where his case was first heard, Bennett was told by the clerk of

court that his passport had been signed out by one Michael Mugabe, believed to

be a regional prosecutor and the president’s nephew.

Bennett’s bail money (US$5?000) was also missing but he had been

advised that he could collect it at a later date.

Bennett told City Press: “They told me at the court that Michael

Mugabe could not be located in Mutare and no one seems to know where he is or

where my passport is.”

Beatrice Mtetwa, the lawyer who represented Bennett during his

trial accused the attorney-general’s (AG) office of illegally removing Bennett’s

passport from the clerk of the court in Mutare.

She said what made the issue more curious was the fact that the

passport had been taken away two days before the high court was due to rule on

the Bennett case on March 31, before it was postponed.

Mtetwa said: “It is not only unprocedural, but also criminal for

the AG’s office to have done that.

Anything that is deposited with the clerk of

court as bail surety can not by any means be removed from there except by a

precise court order or upon acquittal.”



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