Original source: Zimbabwean police arrested a prospective minister in the country’s new unity government on Friday, shortly before senior ministers were sworn in.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) treasurer general and deputy minister of agriculture designate Roy Bennett was arrested at Prince Charles airport outside the capital Harare. MDC spokesman Ian Makone said that the police gave no reason for Mr Bennett’s arrest.

Mr Bennett was among several MDC figures listed on an arrest warrant, who are accused of planning ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe’s violent overthrow.

Mr Mugabe, who remains president under the power-sharing agreement, swore in his erstwhile ally and now rival Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister on Wednesday.

The two will jointly oversee a 31-member cabinet – 15 from Mr Mugabe’s party, 13 from Mr Tsvangirai’s and three from the MDC split led by Arthur Mutambara.

Friday’s ceremony was delayed by a last-minute dispute. Mr Mugabe arrived with plans to swear in seven ZANU-PF members as junior ministers, surprising his partners as only senior ministers were scheduled to be sworn in.

Two hours after the inauguration was to have begun, leaders of both parties were still discussing the seven proposed junior ministers.

The ceremony later went ahead, though it was not immediately clear how the dispute over the seven junior ministers was resolved.

Mr Mugabe presided over on Friday’s inaugurations and, at one point, warmly shook the hand of MDC secretary-general and new Finance Minister Tendai Biti, whose trial on treason charges was only halted last week.


Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.