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Tensions Escalate In Harare As Police Issue Arrest Warrant For Tsvangirai's Top Aide


Roy Bennett (file photo)

Roy Bennett (file photo)

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the operations of the unity government should be reviewed, charging that there are elements in the security forces still pursuing political persecution of his party members.

Tensions are set to escalate again in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government after police issued an arrest warrant for Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate Roy Bennet, who is also treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Police sources said Thursday that Bennett, believed to be currently in South Africa, is wanted in connection with an article that appeared in the British Guardian newspaper, that they allege was in contempt of court.

In the May article Bennett is qouted as taking a swipe at the judiciary for being compromised. Bennett told the newspaper most of the judges were beneficiaries of Harare's controversial land reform programme.

All border officers are said to be on high alert, waiting to arrest the former Chimanimani legislator upon his return. At the time the article was published, Bennett was facing charges of treason.

He was cleared by the High Court but the state immediately appealed to the Supreme Court.

Police sources say the latest attempt to arrest Bennett is being spearheaded by ZANU-PF hardliners and members of the so-called Joint Operation Command and the security services.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the operations of the unity government should be reviewed, charging that there are elements in the security forces still pursuing political persecution of his party members.

Bennet’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that instructions have been issued to immigration officials to detain Bennett upon arrival.

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