Top Opposition Leader Tendai Biti On His Way Back To Harare

FILE: Former Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti. PICTURE: M&G

HARARE: Opposition officials say that the MDC Alliance’s Tendai Biti is back in Zimbabwe and on his way to Harare.

Biti was refused asylum in neighbouring Zambia on Wednesday and deported back to Zimbabwe. He was under arrest in connection with the violence after the Zimbabwe elections.

Sources say that Biti was brought into Zimbabwe via the Kariba border post. It’s understood that Biti is now in the custody of Zimbabwean police, and is on his way to Harare.

Biti is accused of breaching the Electoral Act by announcing results of last week’s presidential poll before the commission did, and of promoting public violence. MDC Alliance official David Coltart says the charges against Biti are spurious, as he never gave specific results, and has only ever called for peaceful demonstrations.

Zambia’s information minister Dora Siliya said on Twitter on Thursday that Biti didn’t qualify for asylum because there’s no breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe. The MDC’s Nkululeko Sibanda has denied the allegations against Biti.

“They placed a clumsy charge of accusing him of announcing results, which he did not do and there’s no basis for such an accusation.”

The United Nations Refugee Agency has released a statement saying it’s gravely concerned about reports that Biti was refused asylum, saying this would be a serious violation of international law.