Bennett loses bid for passport

ZIMBABWES attorney-general is refusing to hand back the passport of Roy Bennett, a senior Movement for Democratic Change party official, five months after it was confiscated when he was accused of sabotage, MDC officials said.

The former farmer is the No 3 in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais MDC party and Zimbabwes deputy agriculture minister-designate.

He is also one of about 50 MDC officials to have been prosecuted since Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government last year.

Bennett was arrested hours before he was due to be sworn in and held in jail for three weeks as police and lawyers for the state ignored court orders for his release on bail. His passport was seized as part of his bail conditions but Bennett needed to travel to South Africa on urgent private and party business, said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Bennett appealed to the High Court for the return of his passport. A judge refused the application.

The Times(SA)

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