MDC nominee 'on treason charge'

Other News Materials 14 February 2009 01:22 (UTC +04:00)

Police in Zimbabwe have charged a senior member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party with treason, the party says, BBC reported.

Roy Bennett, nominee for deputy minister of agriculture, was charged just hours after the new power-sharing cabinet was sworn in, the MDC says.

The party's statement described the charges against him as "scandalous" and "politically motivated".

Earlier, the ceremony was marred by a row over the allocation of ministers.

Under a power-sharing deal agreed after months of negotiation, President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF is to have 15 posts and the two factions of the MDC 16 posts in the government.

But seven extra Zanu-PF members turned up at State House in the capital, Harare, to be sworn into office. The issue was only resolved after intense closed-door negotiations.

Correspondents described the day as an extremely bumpy start to Zimbabwe's power-sharing experiment.