Roy Bennett sworn in as Senator

HARARE – Wednesday was a marathon day for Roy Bennett, the MDC National Treasurer and Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate, who was sworn in as a Senator, on the same day that he had to appear in court for his remand hearing.\r\n

Bennett had to appear in a Magistrate’s Court in Mutare in the morning for a remand hearing and then had to drive back to Harare to be in parliament in the afternoon to be sworn in as a Senator.

The MDC National Treasurer was sworn in as a non-constituent Senator on Wednesday to enable him to take up his role as MDC Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the inclusive government. Only members of parliament and the senate can be government ministers.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa reporter, the MDC official said: “Now we have passed the first hurdle, the next hurdle is to be sworn in as Deputy Minister.”

Bennett said the swearing-in was a strange event and there were not many happy faces from ZANU PF legislators. The last time he was in parliament was in 2004 when he was involved in a brawl with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, resulting in him being jailed for eight month for pushing the Minister.

At the swearing-in the MDC official said three other MDC Senators were capped first and he was kept till last and was only called in ten minutes after the other three had been sworn in. The other three new non-constituent Senators are Morgan Komichi, Cecil Zvidzai and Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa.

“There didn’t seem to be many happy faces in the ZANU PF benches and even the President of the Senate didn’t seem very happy, but I went in and shook her hand and said it was nice to see her.”

The MDC official who was released on bail late last week after spending a month in prison, said the ZANU PF faces were full of anger and hatred but said “that is the cycle we have to break.”

A date has not been set yet for his swearing in as Deputy Minister, although he is expected to be sworn in with the governors.

At his Mutare court hearing Bennett was remanded out of custody to 21st April. SW Radio Africa