Zimbabwean Senator Roy Bennett, whose status as deputy minister of agriculture designate and prosecution on treason charges have made him a central figure in the ongoing power-sharing negotiations, said Monday that armed police barred him from his former farm though he had authorization to pick up personal effects from the property seized under land reform.
Bennett said he had a letter from the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority granting him access to Charleswood Farm to collect personal property including his father’s ashes, but was unable to do so.
Bennett told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that he and his wife Heather traveling in a vehicle with drivers were stopped at a roadblock outside Chimanimani and harassed by police who told him they did not recognize the unity government.
Bennett, treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was designated deputy minister of agriculture in 2009 but President Robert Mugabe has refused to swear him in because charges have been pending that he tried to overthrow the government in 2006. Bennett's trial has been unfolding in Harare over the past month.