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Evan Mawarire acquitted

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#ThisFlag leader Evan Mawarire yesterday walked out of the Harare Magistrates’ Court a free man after being acquitted on charges of inciting public violence and disorderly conduct after he addressed and prayed for University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students in June this year.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Mawarire’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo confirmed the developments saying a Harare magistrate ruled that the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against the clergyman and as such he was entitled to an acquittal at the close of the State case.

“The court ruled the State had failed to prove a case against Mawarire and proceeded to acquit him at the close of the State’s case,” Nkomo said.

Mawarire (40) and Ocean Chihota (34) were arrested by the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers on June 26 and charged with participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry as defined in section 37 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, or alternatively disorderly conduct as defined in Section 41 (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

It was the State’s case that Mawarire, the leader of #ThisFlag movement, and Chihota allegedly connived and hatched a plan to act violently against some UZ authorities and urged some medical students to confront and force UZ vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura to reverse the increase in fees for students.

The State had also claimed Mawarire, Chihota and some unnamed students staged a demonstration while holding placards with messages which read: Fees Must Fall, My Father is a Teacher”, Tongoda 1% of the $15 Billion Inokwana, My Mother is a Vendor and Tohurira Fees Here?.

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