Roy Bennet Back In Court Tomorrow As Morgan Tsvangirai Goes Back To Work
This was Tendai Biti soon after all charges of treason against him were dropped by the State in the wake of the Global Political Agreement. He had been charged wit treason for announcing results that said Tsvangirai had won the Presidential election. The same could very easily be done with Bennett in the spirit of the that agreement, but the man is behind bars instead. Bennett applies for bail at the High Court tomorrow and if Mugabe is serious about wanting him granted bail, then the man will get it tomorrow and could be free for the weekend, unless of course, the prison authorities have other ideas.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 October 2009
Perhaps emboldened by Mugabe's reported support for granting Roy Bennett bail, the MDC Treasurer-General and Deputy Minister-designate has applied for an urgent hearing at the court. They will appear before the court tomorrow to ask for Bennett to be given bail.
They say he has been an outstanding candidate for bail, sticking to his strict bail conditions since March this year.
It was expected that the court would hear the bail application in Mutare when it sits there on Monday and Tuesday next week, but Bennett's lawyer have decided to put his matter before the High Court in Harare. Bennett, therefore, is unlikely to be present in person for this hearing.
Today, the MDC also revealed that a supporter who tried to see Bennett in prison today was told that he needed to be cleared by the Commissioner of Prisons himself to see him. Paradzayi Zimhondi, Prisons Commander in Zimbabwe, is widely considered one of the hardliners often spoken of but never named by Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC.
Meantime, Morgan Tsvangirai, who threw his toys out of his cot today and refused to show up for work in protest at the jailing of Bennett, will hold a press conference tomorrow at his offices at the Munhumutapa Building in Harare.
It appears Tsvangirai is back at work after all. His boycott lasted just a day. That he is holding his press conference at Munhumutapa Building, the government offices, also shows that he is unlikely to announce his resignation or the death of the GNU.
I suppose he will just bemoan the fate of Bennett and other outstanding issues. Pulling out may indeed force SADC to finally turn around and see what the fuss is all about. They will be forced to come and face the issues that Tsvangirai has been shouting about.
But this is unlikely to happen. The MDC are petrified of stepping out of the comfort zone afforded by being in government. There will be no pull-out.
I am not sure if the results of the application for bail will be out by the time Tsvangirai addresses the press conference. I am betting on a decision being deferred to Monday.
If Roy Bennett is ordered released on bail tomorrow, it would be a victory for the way MorganTsvangirai and the MDC have reacted to his jailing. If not, well, we will simply realise that the power of the MDC in the power-sharing arrangement has now hit rock-bottom.
The humiliation simply does not get worse than this.