A Zimbabwean state prosecutor said Monday that maize-hoarding charges dating to 2001 brought recently against Senator Roy Bennett have been dropped.
State Prosecutor Chris Mutangdura told VOA that the charges were being withdrawn because they were brought by a magistrate in Chipinge, Manicaland province, too long after the alleged crime.
Bennett, treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and deputy agriculture minister designate, is currently being tried on charges he conspired in 2006 to overthrow the government of President Robert Mugabe. He has called the charges politically inspired.
Bennett, a former member of parliament, served eight months in prison in 2004-2005 under a parliamentary bill of attainder over a scuffle with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on the House floor after a heated exchange regarding the seizure of Bennett’s farm.
Prosecutor Mutangdura confirmed to VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the maize hoarding charges against Bennett have been dropped.
Bennett said he could not confirm the information, but said he would be relieved if it were true.