MDC lawyers have however challenged the State to proceed with the trial on 13 October and if it fails to drop the charges, indicating that ‘the State is trying to drag the case when it has no evidence to prosecute Senator Bennett’.

Bennett was arrested in February at the Charles Prince Airport on his way to South Africa and spent a month in remand at Mutare Remand Prison.

He is the MDC’s nominee for the position of deputy minister of Agriculture but is yet to be sworn in.

"The fact that his case has been remanded further by almost four months means this is just political persecution and the State has no evidence whatsoever linking the deputy minister designate to any crime.

"The party also calls for immediate swearing-in of Hon. Bennett as the deputy Agriculture minister because he is innocent until proven guilty," said the MDC in a statement.