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Key Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Set Free

But real progress remains elusive.

4:23 PM, May 10, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
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There was big, though somewhat underreported, news out of Zimbabwe today. Roy Bennett, an opposition leader jailed for bogus terrorism charges, was just acquitted by a high court in Harare. I've written about Bennett before--and his persecution by a malevolent Mugabe government--pointing out that the government's case was beyond absurd. His imprisonment nearly gridlocked power-sharing proceedings between Mugabe's ruling party and Bennett's Movement for Democratic Change, unnecessarily holding up economic and social reforms that were desperately needed.

Key Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Set Free

Though Zimbabwe's population is still anguishing under Mugabe's brutal, totalitarian regime, there's some cause for optimism here. For the first time in years, Zimbabwe's courts have demonstrated a degree of autonomy -- ruling against the government in a major, highly publicized case. Add to this the fact that an enormous hurdle to the aforementioned reforms has been lifted, somewhat easing tensions between the feuding political parties. 

Unfortunately, beyond those two small rays of light, Zimbabwe remains Zimbabwe. The only real solution to the nation's woes is to somehow dislodge Mugabe and his ZANU party from power, allowing for real, meaningful reforms to help the small African nation stand again.

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