The MDC says the charges facing Mr Bennett are trumped up
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says he does not understand why the arrest of former opposition MP Roy Bennett is creating such a stir around the world.
Mr Bennett was chosen by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to serve as a junior minister, but was arrested last week and faces a terrorism charge.
The MDC says the arrest is a plot to destabilise the government, but Mr Mugabe says it is simply a court case.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's stock market has opened for the first time this year.
It traded in US dollars because inflation exceeding 200 million per cent has left the country's own currency virtually valueless.
The AFP news agency reported that only one firm out of more than 80 officially listed was open for business. It sold 3,026 shares for one US cent each.
Long-time rivals President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week formed a unity government after months of wrangling.
They pledged to make reviving the economy a top priority, but analysts say Mr Bennett's arrest is causing serious difficulties for the fledgling administration.
Mr Bennett's detention was particularly controversial because he had spent more than two years in exile after police accused him of involvement in a plot to kill Mr Mugabe in 2006.
He returned to Zimbabwe to serve as junior agriculture minister in the new government - but was arrested shortly before ministers were sworn in last Friday.
In what was reportedly his first public comment on the case, Mr Mugabe said: "Across the world I don't know why [it's making headlines] - it's a court case."
The development came as rumours circulated in Mutare, where Mr Bennett is being held, that the MDC and Zanu-PF had framed a deal to give amnesty to those accused of human-rights crimes.
The deal would also have allowed Mr Bennett to be released from jail, according to reports.
But his lawyer, Trust Maanda, told the BBC: "Bennett does not want to benefit from the sympathy of anybody by way of amnesty.
"He wants to be freed by the courts after a trial because he knows he did not commit the offence."
On Wednesday, magistrates decided there was enough evidence to charge Mr Bennett on illegal arms possession and terrorism counts and remanded him in custody until 4 March.
The charges against him have changed several times since his arrest last Friday.
The MDC, which heads the finance ministry, has been taking measures to tackle the crippled economy by paying government employees in US dollars.
And Reuters quoted Mr Tsvangirai as saying he was now "engaging the South Africans" in talks about switching to the rand.