Tendai Biti, the deputy vice president of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was this Monday arrested in Glendale but was later released without charge.
His CCC party claimed this Monday that the former Finance and Economic Development Minister was taken to Harare Central Police Station and was later taken to Rhodesville Police Station after his arrest at Letombo Spar in Greendale.
The party said Biti was on a “meet and greet” as he campaigns for MP ahead of March 26 by-election. Said CCC in a statement:
Hon @BitiTendai has been unlawfully arrested in Greendale by 3 armed police officers including the OIC of Rhodesville Police Station. He’s being held at Harare Central Police Station. @PoliceZimbabwe have declined to advise him of the charges against him. DTF
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) issued a statement that supported reports by the CCC. Said the lawyers:
Human rights lawyer @BitiTendai is currently detained at Harare Central Police Station after he was arrested by @PoliceZimbabwe while at Letombo Spar in Msasa Harare.
ZLHR in an update said Biti had been moved to Rhodesville Police Station from Harare Central Police Station.
The lawyers later reported that Biti had been released without charge. Said ZLHR in a statement:
Our rapid reaction system works effectively to limit & combat violation of HRDs rights&after the quick intervention of ours lawyers, @BitiTendai & his aide Emmanuel Zellers Gumbo has just been released with no charges preferred against them after being taken to 2 police stations.
Responding to the reports that Biti had been arrested, some social media users criticised the government for “abusing human rights.”
Some said the arrest was staged and is part of a grand plan to boost Biti’s chance of winning the by-elections set for 26 March.