From the IOL website in South Africa.
March 08 2006 at 12:46AM
Harare - Zimbabwe security forces have found an arms cache in the eastern city of Mutare and uncovered a plot to destabilise the country involving opposition members and army officers, state television said on Tuesday.
"Security forces have unearthed an arms cache in Mutare and arrested a former member of the Rhodesian forces in connection with the recovered arms of war," state broadcaster Zimbabwe Television (ZTV) said in its main news bulletin.
Zimbabwe, which became independent in 1980 after a guerrilla war, was formerly the British colony Rhodesia. President Robert Mugabe recently said in Mutare that the country was still threatened by "the monster of imperialism".
The suspect, expected to appear in court soon, had said he was working for an organisation called the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement "with opposition members Bennett and Giles Mutseyekwa as the co-ordinators", ZTV said.
Roy Bennett and Giles Mutseyekwa are members of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which Mugabe accuses of working with Western countries to try to oust him from power, mainly over his seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to poor blacks.
Bennett, a former MDC legislator whose coffee farm was confiscated, was released from jail last year after serving about eight months for assaulting a government minister during a debate on farm seizures. Bennett and Mutseyekwa were not immediately reachable for comment.
"Investigating officers say the suspect claimed to have been working with former members of the Rhodesian forces who are serving members of the uniformed forces, to obtain the arms of war as well as plan acts of possible sabotage and destabilisation," ZTV said.
Security agencies recovered an arsenal including AK-47 automatic rifles, machineguns, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, tear gas canisters, flares, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a two-way radio communication system, ZTV added.
Last week official sources told Reuters the government had put its security services on high alert, fearing bitter wage disputes and new price rises might spark street protests as the country grapples with an economic crisis widely blamed on poor governance.
On Tuesday the official Herald newspaper quoted State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa as saying the recently elected leader of a faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara, was a CIA agent planted in Zimbabwe by United States President George Bush.