President Robert Mugabe's regime struck at the opposition leadership today, just two weeks before Zimbabwe's presidential runoff election, twice detaining his challenger and jailing the opposition party's No. 2 official on treason charges, which carry the death penalty. Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai was stopped at a roadblock and held at a police station for about two hours before being released. He returned to campaigning, and was again detained by police.
Tendai Biti, secretary-general of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested at Harare airport upon returning from South Africa. A police spokesman said the treason charge related to a "transition document" discussing changing Zimbabwe's government. He said Biti also would charged with making false statements "prejudicial to the state" for announcing election results before the official count was released.