HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean senior opposition official Tendai Biti has been arrested whereas making an attempt to cross into Zambia, a lawyer mentioned Wednesday, as issues rose over a authorities crackdown after final week’s disputed presidential election.
Lawyer Nqobizitha Mlilo mentioned extra particulars could be launched later.
Biti, who was finance minister in an uneasy coalition authorities from 2009 to 2013, is a number one member of the opposition Motion for Democratic Change get together, which has denounced the election win of President Emmerson Mnangagwa as fraudulent and vowed to problem it in courtroom this week.
Final week Biti declared, earlier than official election outcomes have been introduced early Friday, that opposition chief Nelson Chamisa had received the vote, a declare additionally made by Chamisa himself.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Fee has mentioned it’s unlawful to announce outcomes earlier than its personal official pronouncement.
Mnangagwa was extra restrained than the opposition in the course of the vote rely, saying solely that the state of affairs regarded constructive. Nonetheless, some reporting in state-run media emphatically declared him the winner earlier than the official outcomes have been out.
The opposition has seven days from the announcement of the official election outcomes to file a courtroom problem. Chamisa lawyer Thabani Mpofu instructed reporters on Wednesday they are going to file the problem throughout the prescribed timeframe. That might push again an inauguration that Mnangagwa’s administration already had deliberate for Sunday.
Biti, probably the most vocal critics of the federal government, had mentioned months earlier than the election that the Zimbabwean army was casting a shadow over hopes for real reform within the southern African nation.
He mentioned that whereas the ouster of former chief Robert Mugabe was welcome, the army takeover that led to his resignation in November set a harmful precedent for additional involvement of generals in civilian affairs.
“The genie is out of the bottle,” Biti mentioned at a discussion board on Zimbabwe held in Johannesburg in late June.
“We had a coup in November,” Biti mentioned on the time. “We did not search to know what it meant and we did not perform political reform to be sure that one other coup doesn’t occur.”
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