Mugabe critic released on bail

tendai_biti.jpgThe secretary general of Zimbabwe’s opposition party has been granted
bail, a day before a controversial presidential poll run-off.

Tendai
Biti, of the Movement for Democratic Change, was held earlier this
month on treason charges, which his party says are politically driven.

The MDC has withdrawn from Friday’s poll over fears of political violence.

Southern African leaders have called on President Robert Mugabe to postpone the vote and negotiate with the opposition.

The
leaders from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) said
conditions did not permit a free and fair election on Friday.

‘Condemned’

Speaking
to the BBC, the head of the MDC said that the ruling Zanu-PF party
wanted to proceed with the election to give itself legitimacy.

"They need that in order to demonstrate that they have been voted in by the people," said Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Mugabe
will be able to be sworn in as president and then he’ll go around
saying I’m the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe, yet of course the whole
world has condemned him," he said.

Mr Biti was arrested two
weeks ago and charged with treason, which carries the death penalty. He
also has been charged with publishing false statements and insulting
the president.

His bail was set at one trillion Zimbabwe dollars, the equivalent of about $200 (£100).

The
court said that Mr Biti must remain in his home, hand in his passport
and the deeds to his house, and report once a week to a police station.

The court also said the state’s evidence appeared, based on their documentation, weak at this stage.

Source: BBC