Former Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a leader of the country’s main opposition alliance, was arrested in neighbouring Zambia where he plans to seek asylum, his lawyer said.
It’s unclear what Biti has been charged with, Nqobizitha Mlilo said by phone from the Chirundu border post in northern Zimbabwe. Biti fled the country because his life is in danger, Mlilo said in an interview broadcast on state television in South Africa.
“Mr. Biti will be seeking political asylum in Zambia,” Mlilo said. “His life has been in danger for a while, but also the lives of the members of his family.”
Biti is among opposition leaders who have questioned the outcome of last elections, in which the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front won a constitutional majority and its leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was elected president. The Movement for Democratic Change, a seven-party alliance led by Nelson Chamisa, was expected to announce on Wednesday how it plans to challenge the results. Biti said that the opposition couldn’t account for 21 percent of the tally sheets that by law were supposed to be posted outside polling stations, but “from what we have received, it’s clear we’ve won.”