THE State yesterday added fresh charges in a bid to nail returned social activist and cleric, Evan Mawarire, who is now set to appear in court today.
By XOLISANI NCUBE
Among the charges Mawarire will face are; subversion, plots to remove a constitutionally-elected government, abuse of the national flag and inciting public violence.
The cleric’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, spent the better part of yesterday at the Harare Magistrates’ Court hopping Mawarire would be brought to court, but this did not materialise.
“I had hoped they would bring him to court today, but, as you can see, even the prosecutors have left, it means he is not coming,” he said.
“I understand they have added some charges to his charge sheet. That could be the reason they have not arraigned him before the court. But you might not know with this system.”
A warned-and-cautioned statement that was circulating on social media yesterday showed, the State alleges that from July to December 2016, Mawarire incited the public to revolt against Mugabe through public videos. He is also accused of organising a demonstration against Mugabe at the United Nations in New York all in a bid to end the Zanu PF leader’s rule illegally.
In a statement yesterday, MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai condemned Mawarire’s arrest, warning of a fresh season of impunity ahead of next year’s elections.
“This is vintage Zanu PF and the message coming out of this arrest is that Zanu PF will go for broke in the campaign ahead of the next election. The world must brace for impunity and violence against the innocent citizens of our country,” he said, adding Zimbabwean would not be cowed into submission.
Tsvangirai called on regional leaders to keenly watch events in Zimbabwe, saying Mawarire’s arrest “must send a chilling message” on what Mugabe was capable of doing.
The US and UK embassies also condemned the arrest.
Mawarire, leader of #ThisFlag movement, was arrested on Wednesday at the Harare International Airport on arrival from the US after six months in self-imposed exile.