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Zimbabwe News: Emmerson Mnangagwa orders Biti’s release

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Zimbabwean president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa says he has ordered the release of MDC’s Tendai Biti.

Zimbabwe’s President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered the release of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Tendai Biti.

“Tendai Biti was released earlier today [9 August 2018] following my intervention. At such a crucial time in the history of the new Zimbabwe, nothing is more important than unity, peace and dialogue”, he said on Twitter.

Mnangagwa added: “Equally important, however, is an adherence to the rule of law. I repeat – no one is above the law. Thus, due to the serious nature of the allegations of incitement, due process will continue. I call on all parties to immediately cease from all forms of incitement to violence, and to conduct all activities solely within the framework of the law. All Zimbabweans must join us now in striving for unity, peace and reconciliation. Peace is paramount. “

Biti was nabbed on Wednesday, 8 August 2018 when he tried fleeing to neighbouring Zambia to seeki for political asylum, which was later denied. He was subsequently deported back to his native Zimbabwe, where he was detained again.

There were initially conflicting reports about his whereabouts, with some claiming he was being kept at the Zambian border while an MDC lawyer said he was in the capital Lusaka.

Police faced charges of inciting violence in last week’s post-election brutality, which claimed the lives of six people. MDC Alliance supporters had taken to the streets of Harare, in response to the first batch of poll results, which indicated that ZANU-PF was in the lead. The protesters alleged vote rigging at the hands of the ruling party.

The MDC maintains that the charges against its leaders are unfounded and is set to approach the courts to challenge the outcome of the presidential elections.

Thabo Baloyi
[email protected]

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