Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Responsible for agriculture in Zimbabwe, including the management of agricultural land use but not land reform.
Mr Bennett, a white farmer whose land was seized under Mr Mugabe's land reform programme, became an MP in 2000. He was jailed in 2004 after pushing a minister in parliament during a heated debate about land reform. After being accused of links to an alleged plot to kill Zimbabwe's veteran president in 2006, he fled to South Africa, saying he feared for his life.
Roy Leslie Bennett is a Zimbabwean politician and former colonial policeman who is also a former member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for the seat of Chimanimani, where he is affectionately known as Pachedu (loosely translated as "Between Us"). He is currently the Treasurer of the Movement for Democratic Change party led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
He was one of three white parliamentarians elected in the 2000 Parliamentary election, despite the constituency seeing intimidation against MDC voters by supporters of Zanu-PF. During the campaign his wife and family were physically attacked. At the end of January 2009, after several years in exile, he returned to Zimbabwe to join a debate within the MDC to decide whether or not to agree to the power-sharing government with Mugabe.
After the MDC ultimately agreed to share power with ZANU-PF, Morgan Tsvangirai designated Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture on 10 February 2009. On 13 February, he was arrested again while trying to (legally) leave Zimbabwe on a private plane at Charles Prince Airport.
He was brought to police stations in Goromonzi and Mutare on that day, and is said to have suffered an attempt to drown him on the way there. He was charged with treason, and the MDC reported that he had been denied food in jail. Charges were later replaced with 'conspiring to acquire arms with a view to disrupting essential services'.
When a magistrate ordered Bennett released, the magistrate himself was arrested because "he has passed a judgment that is not popular with the state." Bennett was released from remand prison on 12 March 2009, but was been ordered back on 14 October 2009. On 16 October 2009, Judge Hungwe instructed the prison to release Roy Bennett on his old bail conditions.