(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 01, 2018 MDC Alliance Spokesperson Tendai Biti speaks during a press conference during which he announced that Zimbabwe’s opposition parties are calling for electoral reforms ahead of the July 30 general elections and that there will be street demonstrations in the capital Harare on June 5. Senior Zimbabwean opposition figure Tendai Biti was arrested as he tried to flee to neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum, his lawyer said on August 8, 2018. Biti allegedly faces charges for inciting violence over the disputed result of last week’s elections. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

LUSAKA – Opposition leader and MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti safely in Zambia where he is seeking political asylum.

The attempt to arrest him at Chirundu border post was not successful. He faces trumped up public violence charges in Zimbabwe. 

Biti was apprehended when he presented himself to the Zambian immigration officials where he was heading to seek political asylum. However, as Biti had already crossed from the Zimbabwean side onto the Zambian side, he was technically on Zambian soil.

This means that Zimbabwe has no jurisdiction and after this was highlighted, Biti was released and allowed to continue on into Zambia. He is reported to be on his way to Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka, where he will face an asylum hearing.

Biti and other senior opposition MDC Alliance officials are on the run or in hiding after the Zimbabwe Republic Police accused them of inciting their followers to violence.  This follows the death of at least six civilians who were gunned by the military last Wednesday after opposition supporters demonstrated against alleged manipulation of results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

The international community has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to stop the crackdown and intimidation of opposition leaders and supporters.