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Zimbabwe Opposition Politician Charged Over Election Result Claim
Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti was charged Thursday with inciting public violence and unlawfully announcing the results of last week's disputed election. "We will keep fighting," the former finance minister said as he arrived at court in the capital of Harare. Biti was deported to his native land after authorities in neighboring Zambia rejected his bid for asylum. Attorney Gilbert Phiri says Biti was handed over to Zimbabwean police Thursday, ignoring a court order to halt his deportation. The United Nations refugee agency released a statement saying it was "gravely concerned" about reports of Zambia's refusal to grant Biti amnesty and its decision to deport him, calling the action a serious violation of international law. Biti is one of nine members of the Movement for Democratic Change alliance wanted by Zimbabwe police for inciting violence following last week's presidential election, which the MDC alliance claims was rigged in favor of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Biti held a news conference the day before President Mnangagwa was declared the winner and claimed that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa had won the July 30 vote.  When Chamisa's supporters took to the streets the next day to protest the official results, police responded by using tear gas and live fire, killing six people. Nkululeko Sibanda, a spokesman for the MDC, told VOA Wednesday many of its senior officials had gone into hiding, fearing arrests or abductions since the election. The MDC alliance is challenging the official election results, saying that its candidate, Nelson Chamisa, won 56 percent of the vote. Thabani Mpofu, the lawyer for the opposition, told reporters Wednesday that it would file a court challenge by the Friday deadline. Biti served as finance minister from 2009 to 2013 during a power-sharing government between the MDC and then-President Robert Mugabe, the leader of the long-ruling ZANU-PF party.  Mugabe was forced from office last year after 40 years in power, surrendering the presidency to Mnangagwa, his vice president.

Full "Voice of America:News" article




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