A HARARE magistrate yesterday released #ThisFlag frontman, Evan Mawarire following his arrest on Sunday over a video posted on Facebook in which he was castigating government’s policies and bond notes.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Magistrate, Elisha Singano ruled that police had over-detained him before bringing him to court.
“The State cannot blame the prison services of High Court for over detaining Mawarire because they are all arms of the State. I, therefore, order his release from custody,” he ruled last night.
The State had applied for Mawarire to be placed on remand. But his defence lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, objected to the application, saying the State should first deal with the accused’s constitutional right to be brought to court within the 48-hour period.
The investigating officer, Detective Assistant Inspector Martin Masenda told the court that Mawarire’s rights were not violated, as they first allowed him to attend his trial at the High Court, which is a superior court.
However, Nkomo said the High Court trial was interrupted because the superior court understands the 48-hour period and the police should not blame the High Court for the violation of Mawarire’s constitutional rights.
Nkomo said the police should have applied for a warrant of further detention if they wanted him to appear first on trial at the High Court.
It is the State’s case that on September 23 this year, Mawarire visited several service stations within Harare, where there were queues.
The State alleges Mawarire recorded a video of himself showing some vehicles queuing for fuel. In his video, Mawarire allegedly incited the general populace to revolt against a constitutionally-elected government of Zimbabwe.
It is alleged on the same date, the video went viral on the social media platforms, which is assessable by the entire world.
Tapiwa Kasema prosecuted for the State.