Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has disclosed that he intervened in the release of a top opposition, Tendai Biti.
In his words, the move was to foster unity, peace and dialogue in the new Zimbabwe.
The President shared details of his intervention in a tweet thread, amidst mixed reactions, hours after Biti was granted bail on charges of inciting violence and breaching electoral laws. He however added tha due process must be followed with regards to charges against Biti.
Tendai Biti, former Minister of Fianance, was refused asylum in neighbouring Zambia and was subsequently deported despite a court order against the move.
The United Nations and a number of western governments have commented on the issue stressing that due process is adhered to.
POLICE STATEMENT ON CHARGES AGAINST BITI
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to confirm that, Tendai Biti is now in police custody.
“He is being charged for contravening Section 36 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act (Chapter 9:23), “Public Violence” and also contravening Section 66 (A)(1) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), “Unofficial or false declaration of results”.
“We want to assure the nation that he is very safe and like any other person facing criminal charges, the police are conducting the necessary legal procedures so that Biti appears in court.
“He had skipped the country knowing very well that he was wanted by the police, although he was misleading members of the public through the media.”
The lawyer and former finance minister had reportedly claimed that the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC Allaince’) candidate Nelson Chamisa had won the July 30 elections.
Authorities are blaming him for inciting protesters who clashed with security forces leading to the death of six people in the capital Harare. Biti won his parliamentary seat for Harare East in the polls.