EU asks Zimbabwe to guarantee Biti’s dignity

By Staff Reporter

The European Union delegation in Zimbabwe has asked that government to uphold the dignity of opposition MDC Alliance official, Tendai Biti who was arrested yesterday.

And former education minister in the Robert Mugabe administration, David Coltart, has criticised the Zambian government for disregarding a court order.

After the disputed July 30 elections which incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won, the government has launched a serious clampdown on opposition leaders and their supporters.

Biti, the former finance minister, was detained by the Zambian authorities from whom he was seeking political asylum but was later handed over to Zimbabwean security wings.

This was in total defiance of an order that Biti’s Zambian lawyer, Gilbert Phiri, had obtained from the Lusaka High Court, restraining the Zambian immigration from sending him back to his country until a judicial review was concluded.

“The Heads of Mission of the EU, Australia, Canada and the United States of America are deeply disturbed by continuing reports that opposition supporters are being targeted by members of the Zimbabwean security forces. The Heads of Mission note that MDC Alliance principal and former Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, Mr Tendai Biti, is in the custody of the Zimbabwean authorities after criminal charges were levelled against him,” read the statement in part.

“The Heads of Mission urgently call on the Zimbabwean Government to guarantee the physical integrity and safety of Mr Biti, to ensure that his constitutional and human rights are respected, and that he will be treated in full accordance with the rule of law.”

And Coltart Tweeted: “Despite Zambia lawyer Gilbert Phiri obtaining an interdict against the Zambian Government preventing them from deporting Tendai Biti he has just messaged to say they are taking him to Kariba to deport him in defiance of the order. Respect the rule of law Zambia.”