Zimbabwe: Opposition leader Tendai Biti, briefly detained

An opposition figure in Zimbabwe, former Finance minister Tendai Biti, was detained Monday for several hours while campaigning for parliamentary by-elections in Harare, a spokeswoman for his party said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the 2017 successor to Robert Mugabe who ruled with an iron fist for 37 years, is regularly accused of trying to muzzle any dissenting opinion. Mr. Biti’s arrest has reignited fears of a new wave of arrests of opposition members.
Biti, vice president of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), formerly the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-Alliance), was arrested by three police officers while campaigning in a suburb of the capital, said party spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere.
He was taken to the police station and eventually “released without charge,” Mahere said, denouncing an arbitrary arrest.
Parliamentary by-elections are scheduled in March to fill 133 local and parliamentary seats, a test vote before the 2023 general elections.
Biti’s arrest comes a day after the current president attempted a show of force with a large party rally in Harare during which he firmly stated that the country was not ready for the opposition to ever come to power.