SOCIAL media activist and cleric, Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag campaign, has accused the State of seeking to break his spirit by detaining him on a “hopelessly weak case” of seeking to subvert the Zanu PF government.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Mawarire made the claim in his fresh bid to get bail, set to be heard at the High Court tomorrow.
This was after a Harare magistrate denied him bail last week and remanded him in custody to February 17 on charges of subverting a constitutionally-elected government.
Mawarire’s lawyers, Harrison Nkomo and Jeremiah Bhamu, dismissed State assertions that their client was a flight risk.
“The applicant is prepared to have his day in court. Even the State is aware that its case against the applicant is hopelessly weak and they have resorted to persecution in the vain attempt to break his spirit and discourage him from exercising his constitutionally-guaranteed rights,” the lawyers said.
“Applicant is firmly rooted in Zimbabwe. He is a patriotic citizen, who only wishes the best for his country. He is prepared to pay a higher amount of bail not exceeding $500 as any amount above that will be beyond his means. He is also prepared to report to the police twice a week or even once every day should it become necessary to do so.”
But, the State argued that Mawarire had established global connections and could easily skip bail and flee the country.
Meanwhile, the United States embassy in Harare yesterday said it was “extremely concerned by the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe”.
The embassy said Mawarire’s arrest and the continued detention of Kariba cleric, Phillip Patrick Mugadza showed a downward spiral of the situation in the country.
“We believe that the basic right of Zimbabweans to freedom of speech — be it in public, through print media, or social media — should be protected within and outside Zimbabwe’s borders,” a statement from the embassy said.
The statement said the US feared that the government’s actions could further limit Zimbabweans’ rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.