Exiled Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in helicopter crash

By Staff Reporter

Exiled Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett and four other people were killed in a helicopter crash in a remote northern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico, officials and his political party said on Thursday.

The crash of a private Huey helicopter in rugged terrain near Raton, New Mexico, on Wednesday evening killed Bennett, 60, along with his wife, Heather Bennett, 55, James Coleman Dodd, 57, of Colorado, Charles Ryland Burnett, 61, of Texas and Paul Cobb, 67, of Texas, New Mexico State Police said.

Bennett, a former treasurer general of the opposition MDC party, was an important figure in Zimbabwean politics and served time in prison under former President Robert Mugabe. He recently told CNN that his country would never again let itself to be ruled by a dictatorship.

“Roy was a resolute and committed fighter for democratic change in Zimbabwe,” the MDC said in a statement.