Zimbabwe: Top opposition figure said released

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Zimbabwe's president said Thursday he had intervened for the release of a top opposition figure arrested a day earlier.

Tendai Biti, a leading opposition figure in the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A) party, was arrested on Wednesday in Zambia.

He had reportedly gone to the neighboring country seeking political asylum, but Zambian authorities instead deported him to Zimbabwe, where he was detained early Thursday.

The Zimbabwe police accuse Biti of inciting political violence following the July 30 polls.

His MDC party rejected the election results, saying Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF had rigged the election.

MDC supporters protested, leading to the death of six people.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he had intervened in Biti's release because the country needs unity and peace.

"Tendai Biti was released earlier today following my intervention. At such a critical time in the history of Zimbabwe, nothing is more important than unity, peace and dialogue," Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter.