HARARE - A prominent Zimbabwean activist and eight others appeared in court on charges of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.
Jestina Mukoko and the others arrived at a Harare court yesterday. Two of the accused carried their two-year-old child, who has been kept in custody with his parents.
Opposition activists and other observers have dismissed the charges as a fabrication.
Mukoko had been missing for three weeks before appearing in court last week. A judge ruled that the activists be sent to hospital so torture allegations could be investigated.
Police have refused to comply and said the group would remain in custody while the government appealed the judge's decision.
The SADC yesterday insisted that the feuding Zimbabwean parties implement the power-sharing deal signed in Harare in September "without any further delay".
"Again, the SADC's position is that the Zimbabwean parties, without any further delay, implement the agreement that they signed in September," said Thabo Masebe, spokesman of President Kgalema Motlanthe, who is chairman of the 15-nation bloc.
A recent SADC summit in Johannesburg called for the immediate formation of a unity government and the sharing of the home affairs ministry between Zanu-PF and the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
"The first step towards implementing that agreement is the appointment of the prime minister and vice prime minister," Masebe said in an interview with SAFM.
The power-sharing agreement, brokered by former president Thabo Mbeki, has been undermined by squabbling over the sharing of key posts.
"The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe has to be attended to," Masebe said.
The MDC said on Sunday that an "equitable" sharing of powerful ministries and the resolution of other outstanding political issues were key to the formation of a unity government.
"The biggest passport to the formation of an inclusive government is the resolution of issues to do with the allocation of governors' posts and the equitable allocation of key ministries," MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
"We have identified several key ministries that we want shared equitably. It is not about home affairs only." - Sapa-AFP