Roy Bennett Cleared Of All Charges
Bennett faced charges of banditry, sabotage, terrorism and insurgency, which could have resulted in the death penalty.
However, Judge Chinembiri Bhunu ruled that the state failed to prove its case.
“He is now a free man,” Bennett’s lawyer Trust Maanda said. “I hope that sanity is now creeping into the system and we can now start concentrating on delivering better lives for the people of Zimbabwe.”
Bennett, a White farmer whose land was seized during Zimbabwe’s racist land reform program in 2000, is currently treasurer general of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC wanted to make Bennett deputy agriculture minister in the national-unity government, but Mugabe refused to swear him in on the grounds that Bennett first needed to be cleared of all charges.
The MDC has always maintained that the case against him was political and that Bennett was being persecuted and not prosecuted.
It remains to be seen whether Mugabe will swear in Bennett now that charges against him have been dismissed.
“Mugabe has to swear me in now,” Bennett said Monday. “My party has made it very clear that they expect nothing less.”