HomeNewsState ready for Mawarire trial

State ready for Mawarire trial

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The State yesterday said investigations into #This Flag leader Evan Mawarire, who is accused of inciting people to commit violence and subverting a constitutionally-elected government, are now complete.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Addressing the Harare Magistrates’ Court, prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa asked for the postponement of the case to June 15, saying the docket was now with the Prosecutor-General for possible indictment.

“They are now working on indictment at the High Court, possibly for the trial in the third term,” Mutizirwa said.

Mawarire’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo consented to the date, but put the State on notice to apply for referral to the Constitutional Court if they failed to indict his client.

Magistrate Barbara Chimboza agreed to postpone the matter to June 15.

According to the State, during the period extending from July 13 to December last year, Mawarire used social media to incite the populace to revolt against a constitutionally-elected government by urging them not to go to work and to shut down the country.

Meanwhile, Kariba cleric Patrick Philip Mugadza yesterday castigated the State for intervening in matters of religious differences, saying its attitude was patently unfair for choosing one belief system over another.

Mugadza prophesied that President Robert Mugabe would die on October 17 this year.

In his application for referral to the Constitutional Court, Mugadza said the State was breaching a constitutional right to equal protection and freedom from discrimination.

Mugadza further said he had not in his utterances incited violence or spoken hatred or hate speech or maliciously injured anyone’s reputation or dignity or maliciously breached anyone’s privacy, yet the criminal law was still used to target him for expressing his sincere belief.

He further made reference to King Hezekiah in the Bible, saying he was ill and Isaiah prophesied that he would die. Mugadza said King Hezekiah prayed and the Lord God added 15 more years to his life.

He said his own prophecy was no different as it was also a call to Mugabe to turn to God. Mugadza said he was not necessarily elated at the message of someone’s impending death, but was bound by his belief and duty to share the message sent to him by God.

However, the State elected to file a written response to the application on May 12 and magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta will make her ruling on May 18.

The State alleges Mugadza’s prophecy insulted the Christian religion and African tradition by uttering words which are taboo in predicting someone’s death. Venetia Matake appeared for the State while Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights members David Hofisi, Gift Mtisi and Dorcas Chitiyo are representing the Kariba cleric.

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