Mawarire nominated for global award

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Pastor Evan Mawarire

TRAILBLAZING social activist and cleric, Evan Mawarire has been nominated for the prestigious 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/CHARLES LAITON

Pastor Evan Mawarire of  #ThisFlag campaign
Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag campaign

This came as Mawarire’s bail appeal hearing at the High Court failed to take off yesterday, as the State and defence counsels haggled over procedural irregularities.

Mawarire, leader of the #ThisFlag campaign, leads a cast which also includes Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian Kurdish journalist, who documents the life of indefinitely-interned Australian asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea; China’s Wang Liming, a famed political cartoonist known as Rebel Pepper; Ildar Dadin, an imprisoned Russian opposition activist, who became the first person convicted under the country’s public assembly law; Daptar, a Dagestani initiative tackling women’s issues like female genital mutilation; and Serbia’s Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK).

The Index on Censorship said the nominees were drawn from more than 400 crowd-sourced nominations. The shortlist celebrates artists, writers, journalists and campaigners overcoming censorship and fighting for freedom of expression against immense obstacles.

“Many of the 16 shortlisted nominees are regularly targeted by authorities or by criminal and extremist groups for their work, some face regular death threats, others criminal prosecution or exile,” Index on Censorship said.

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive officer of Index on Censorship, added: “The creativity and bravery of the shortlist nominees in challenging restrictions on freedom of expression reminds us that a small act — from a picture to a poem — can have a big impact. Our nominees have faced severe penalties for standing up for their beliefs. These awards recognise their courage and commitment to free speech.”

Mawarire drew President Robert Mugabe’s ire after a seemingly innocuous social media rant turned into a national rallying point for dissent against the veteran ruler’s government last year. The cleric then led demonstrations against corruption and other ills for which he was arrested by the authorities. Charges against Mawarire collapsed before he abruptly left the country.

On his return last week after half a year in self-imposed exile in the United States of America, Mawarire was arrested and charged.

His bail appeal hearing has been rolled over to today.

Mawarire approached the High Court seeking to be released on bail, after his initial application was dismissed by a Harare magistrate last Friday.

When the matter was brought before High Court judge, Justice Clement Phiri, yesterday, State representative, Edmore Nyazamba told the court he had not filed his response to the application because the defence papers were not in order.

“The applicant (Mawarire) did not sign a declaration confirming what his lawyers were saying in court. It’s one of the requirements according to the High Court rules. The State will file its response once the issues we raised are attended to,” he said.

But, Mawarire’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, dismissed Nyazamba’s assertions, accusing the State of stalling the process by failing to file its response to the application.

“It’s not a strict requirement that our client must sign an affidavit. We failed to proceed because the State did not file its response to our application. Otherwise we were prepared to argue and ready to go. Even now, we are ready, we are not going to do anything because our papers are in order,” he said.

If convicted of the offence, Mawarire is likely going to face a stiff penalty of not less than
20 years behind bars, as the offence does not provide an option of a fine.

30 COMMENTS

  1. Who is behind this dubious award?It does not make sense to be honoured yet you are languishing in jail for a cool 20yrs.Mawarire should start preparing for jail life and join Gumbura&co,he is a dangerous prisoner.Its better to be a coward than being a dead hero!He chose to be a sacrificial lamp and so be it,mazvokuda ayo.

    • Mutoriti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! remember kuti machesoakaimba kuti murango wacho hauna zuva izuva rimwe ramuchaimamira semombe.

    • Yesterday you were attacking Econet. Today Mawarire akangotaura kuti we want accountability for the rampant corruption which is bringing this country down and you say he must rot in jail?????????. Mutoriti ndiwe mhandu yenyika kwete.

  2. Liberation has to start somewhere. Mawarire’s tribulations may be the starting point and a blessing in disguise.

  3. THEY KNOW THEY WONT DO ANYTHING TO MAWARIRE.HE HAS A THIRD FORCE.HE HAS MUCH PUBLICITY AND HIS DISSAPPEARANCE CAN MAKE ZIMBABWE,UNGOVERNABLE.OUR EYES ARE WIDE OPEN WE CAN SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING.

  4. We see and understand things from different point of views. Therefore when commenting on whatever has been raised by someone let’s not use vulgar language. It’s even worse when we are involving people who has nothing to do with what is being talked about. Parents of every person who reads or comment on this platform are innocent people. Lets present our facts and defend our positions without insulting each other using obscene language.

    • I support you “Umpire CBD” but Mutoriti’s comments are just disgusting day in day out. That’s why some people vent their anger on him. He hears and sees no evil in whatever Mugabe does. I am a Zanu PF member but I shame him really. A person is innocent until proven guilty hence he deserves bail just like armed robbers do.

  5. auraya ari kupiwa bail mawarire onyimwa, imikaaaa. Hakuna chisingaperi, makata anoshura materu zvichapera chete. Rape 20 years, murderer bail or 3 years hohooo, aratidzira kti izvi zvanyanya hatichazvida itai zvimwe zvisiri izvi wonzi not less than 20 years kkkkķkk vatongi ava. Manje mwari havatengwe nemari havana huori semi, hokoyo nhasi chiri kwake mangwana kwako.

  6. More propaganda.
    This man is a false prophet nowhere in the bible does it state we should promote violence against the government, he is a con man.
    He was funded to stir up violence with foreign funds therefore it is terrorism and economic sabotage as well and anyone who promotes him is in the same boat as him and should also face trial.
    Even when in the US on the run he charged fees to take bread with him imagine blatantly making money out of god like that.
    He should be locked away for ever as a deterrent and to protect us the public.

    • and you are preaching false witness. At no time has Mawarire preached violence against anyone. Be verry careful what you say on the bible.

  7. If ZANU PF is so brave tongai Mawarire tione.Imi munoti akangodzoka chete?Kungouya kuzodya tsvina dzinodyiwa kumajere .NYATSOFUNGISISAI zviri kuonekwa zvese izvi.Asi chandinoziva ndechokuti hakuna uchamutonga.

    • Bonz you are correct. nowhere in the Bible does it state that the government should oppress and destroy a nation.The white man brought the Bible to Africa. Then they chased the white man away, but kept his Bible and the belief in God. People should not use the Bible and the love of God to make statements. What is happening in Zim is the work of the Devil. I am not saying bring back white rule, but face it Zim was better of back in the day, Robert had a opportunity to make Zim the greatest nation in Africa, but he squandered that opportunity through hate and greed. I think the Bible has a reference to that.

  8. Makadii makadii zvenyu vepano , Zimbabweans hatiregei kuita sepwere nenika yedu

    kiuta mahumbwe neupenyu hwedu nenyika yedu , tinonyadzisa kwazvo , ndinozvishaya

    wakadzidza neasina tonge tafanana chino zikanwa kumusoro ukohapana vakuru chaivo dzenge

    pwere nokuda kutonga nokudya kwavo chete . Vanoti vanoda nyika ino zvekurevesa izvonyamba

    kunyepa chavanoda hufumi hwayo uhwovanoba vachifuma ivo iyo nyika ichifa

    • it does state that ewe should not use violence against our government please read.
      You are not equipped to judge based on propaganda, suggest you read your bible again.
      One false prophet is bad enough in society.

      • Majohni, false witness is a verry serrious crime before man and god. When did Mawarira ever call for violence agains tanyone?

    • Yes he serious needs to be locked up as a deterrent to promote peace.
      All the time spent on con men trying to make money out of anti Zimbabwe propaganda affects the country and us the majority of the people.

  9. Paster Evan Mawarire is our hero even the likes of our great icon Joshua Nkomo they went through this period saka avo vana mtoriti musachema mangwana.

  10. That explains it. Mupfanha uyu akauya kuzosungwa kuitira award. Mutsvagi mukomana uyu. Ndinonzwira tsisti vatendi vake nokuti vanokamiwa kusvika vabuda ropa. Dai vakomana kujere kwaari vambomukwira from the rear kuti azoudza vamwe kuti Jere hariendwi. Unofunga kuti vakomana vese variparun vanopenga.

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