FACTBOX-Who is Zimbabwe MDC official Roy Bennett?

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Roy Bennett, an ally of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and senior official of the Movement for Democratic Change, stands trial on terrorism charges on Monday.

Here are some details about Bennett:


- Bennett returned to Zimbabwe in January 2009 after spending nearly two years in exile in South Africa.

- The MDC's treasurer-general, he was arrested in February, accused of plotting against President Robert Mugabe's government.

- The charges were that he illegally possessed arms for the purposes of committing terrorism and banditry. Bennett denies the charges, which carry a possible death sentence.

- Bennett was destined to be deputy agriculture minister in the power-sharing unity government of the MDC and Mugabe's ZANU-PF, but was detained before ministers were sworn in.

- Mugabe has said he will only be allowed to join the government if he is cleared by the courts.


- Roy Leslie Bennett was born in 1957 and was one of the country's top coffee growers before his eastern farm was seized as part of Mugabe's land redistribution programme.

- In 2004 Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Bennett in parliament his Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani would be taken by the government and resettled.

- Chinamasa called Bennett's forefathers "thieves and murderers", saying he deserved to lose his farm after benefiting from a British colonial system that robbed black Zimbabweans of their land. In the heat of the argument, Bennett pushed the minister to the ground.

He was sentenced to 12 months in jail.

Sources: Reuters/