(Reuters/NAN) Zimbabwe police on Wednesday arrested former Finance Minister and opposition politician, Tendai Biti, as he tried to cross the border and seek asylum in neighbouring Zambia, his lawyer said.
Biti, whose party formed an election alliance with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s main rival Nelson Chamisa, is the first senior opposition politician to be arrested in the aftermath of last week’s disputed presidential election won by Mnangagwa.
Lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo said Biti was arrested after presenting himself to Zambian immigration officials at Chirundu border post, north of the capital Harare and police had not yet informed him of the charges.
Biti has accused government of “blocking” its choice of guest-of-honour at the party’s inaugural congress set to begin in Harare in 2015.
Party’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume said that the Renewal Team had invited Zambian opposition United Party for National Development, leader Hakainde Hachilemba but had met with obstacles from the government.
Biti is a Zimbabwean politician, who served as Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2013.
He was the Secretary-General of the Movement for Democratic Change and the subsequent Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T) political parties and a Member of Parliament for Harare East until he was expelled from the party and recalled from parliament in mid-2014.
In 1999 he helped found the MDC.
He was elected Member of Parliament for the Harare East constituency in 2000 and was arrested in 2007 with many others, including MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, after a prayer rally in the Harare township of Highfield.