Mugabe swore in Biti who was on treason – Bennett's lawyers

Harare,- Lawyers representing MDC-T treasurer and nominee for the post of deputy Agriculture minister, Roy Bennett will challenge some of the charges he is facing on Monday when his terrorism trial kicks off in the High Court.

"There are issues we want to be struck off the charge sheet because we feel they are heresy and out of order," Beatrice Mtetwa, Bennet’s lawyer said.

"The state wants to bring Michael Hitchmann to testify, but we have since established that what he wants to say is different from what is recorded in his witness account."

Senator Bennett was arrested in February days after the formation of the inclusive government at Charles Prince Airport and was held for charges of planning to topple President Robert Mugabe.

Tensions rose in the unity government when Bennett was arrested with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai accusing Mugabe and his Zanu PF party of persecuting his senior party official.

When the MDC partially disengaged from Zanu PF on October 16, Tsvangirai said his party was disengaging from the unity government as outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) were yet to be resolved and raised the issue of the government’s failure to appoint Bennett to his post.

Bennett was once convicted by the parliament for punching  Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa in parliament after the latter said Bennett’s forefathers were ‘thieves and murderers.’ He spent more than a year in jail before leaving the country and lived in South Africa in exile.

Bennett later returned in January this year when the unity government was on the verge of being formed.  Mugabe has refused to swear him, citing the serious charges he is facing,

However, despite swearing in Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, who was facing treason charges in February, before being cleared by the courts, independent analysts, have said Mugabe is playing a racial card on the former white commercial farmer.