MDC calls for Bennett's urgent release

HARARE – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has strongly condemned the refusal by the state to release its treasurer-General and deputy Minister for Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett.\r\n

It said this was a blatant disregard of the law by ‘residual elements fighting the inclusive government’.

 

High Court judge Justice Tedius Karwi, on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Bennett after throwing out a State appeal denying his release.

"Two senior prison officers, the Officer Commanding Prisons in Manicaland, Senior Assistant Commissioner Albert Mandinika and Chief Superintendent Zondai Nyatsanza, the chief staff officer in Manicaland, confiscated his warrant of liberation papers and disappeared with them," said MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa.

Bennett remains unlawfully in custody despite a High Court order to have him released and despite his lawyers having paid the US$2 000 bail to the clerk of court.

"The wanton disregard of the rule of law, the brazen trampling of citizens’ rights and the chicanery to stand in the way of court orders flies in the face of the new era and the new spirit of unity that had begun to be engendered by the inclusive government. The MDC calls for the unconditional release of Bennett and other MDC activists who continue to be illegally detained on trumped-up charges of banditry and terrorism.

"We call upon the government to urgently intervene to ensure that the rule of law is respected. State security agents must comply with the law. In this new Zimbabwe that is now upon us, no one is above the law. State security agents who continue to trample on citizens’ rights and freedoms should themselves face the full wrath of the law," Chamisa said.