Zimbabwe opposition leader held over post-poll unrest
Harare, Aug. 8 (IANS): Senior Zimbabwe opposition leader Tendai Biti has been arrested on allegations of inciting violence after the country’s presidential elections, officials said on Wednesday.
Biti, a former Finance Minister and a member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was detained at Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia, where he was trying to flee to in order to seek asylum, sources from the main opposition party of Zimbabwe told Efe news.
“I have reliable information that he has been arrested in Chirundu (a border post). He told our people that this is not going to discourage him from continuing the fight,” MDC spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said.
Last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa won 50.8 per cent of the vote against opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa’s 44.3 per cent, in Zimbabwe’s first poll in almost four decades without former leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot.
Chamisa claimed the result was false and promised to challenge it. Meanwhile, Mnangagwa is expected to take his oath of office on Sunday.
As votes were counted, Chamisa posted several messages to his Twitter account saying that, according to a parallel vote count by the MDC, he won the election and accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of voluntarily delaying the announcement of results.
Afterward, clashes broke out in Harare between opposition supporters and security forces that used live ammunition, water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters, killing at least six people.