Bennett case threatens inclusive government

2009-10-15 14:04

Roy Bennett, a senior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and key ally of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has been thrown in jail following his indictment on allegations of banditry.

Mutare magistrate Lucy Mungwari ruled on Wednesday afternoon that Bennett be remanded in custody and only apply for fresh bail at the High Court which comes to the eastern border town next week.

“I will not go into reasons. I commit the accused to prison. If there is any defect in the process raise it at the High Court,” Mungwari told Bennett’s defence team.

Soon after the ruling, Bennett was whisked away to Mutare Prison. Hordes of people who had gathered at the court in support of the popular politician watched in dismay as he was led away.

Bennett’s detention is likely to recharge tension between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe who are struggling to keep intact the power-sharing government they formed in February after disputed elections last year.

Tsvangirai has called a press conference at his offices today to address the Bennett saga.

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