"While the charges have been dropped, and the police have apologized to Professor Ncube, informally, we are concerned because we understand this is the hidden work of [Mugabe's ZANU-PF party] against our party," Mr. Chihwayi said on Sunday night.
The power-sharing government – with Mr. Mugabe maintaining control of all security forces as president and commander-in-chief, and the former opposition parties of Ncube and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai controlling a few economic postings – has been unstable from the start, and prone to repeated shocks.
Several ministers from Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been detained or arrested since Mugabe's government was forced into a power sharing government after losing a 2008 election and refusing to relinquish power.
Designated agriculture minister Roy Bennett, for instance, was charged with terrorism on Feb. 13, 2009 – the day coalition government ministers were sworn in – and later released to flee into exile in South Africa. A year later, a senior member of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party called for the arrest of Finance Minister Tendai Biti (an MDC leader) for calling for an audit of funds from Zimbabwe’s lucrative diamonds trade, which rests largely in the hands of ZANU-PF stalwarts.
The shakiness of Zimbabwe’s government has prompted Zimbabwe’s neighbors within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene and mediate, most recently to persuade Mugabe to put off planned presidential elections until 2012.