#Tajamuka salutes Zimbos

HARARE - Protest group #Tajamuka/Sesjikile yesterday saluted more than 5 000 people who turned out at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts in the most striking show of solidarity with pastor Evan Mawarire who has emerged as a leading voice against the government of President Robert Mugabe.

People of all races, ages and political stripes swarmed the court on a bitterly-cold day, calling for the freedom of the cleric charged with attempting to overthrow a constitutionally- elected government.

Observers described the demonstration as the largest in modern Zimbabwean history at the courts, with many wrapped in the tricolour Zimbabwe flag demanding that Mugabe steps down in words that have ricocheted through social media as a slogan of unity and defiance.

“Tajamuka/Sesjikile would like to thank all brave citizens who besieged the Rotten Row courts in solidarity with pastor (Evan) Mawarire who was arrested for being a patriotic citizen demanding good governance and accountability from the country’s leadership, you made us proud, you are real Tajamukas/Sesjikiles,” the protest group said in a statement yesterday.

“There is no doubt that our struggle against the comatose Zanu PF government will not be a stroll in the park as witnessed by its relentless persecution of innocent civilians through subverting the rule of law.

“We are aware that this repressive government is desperate to cling on to power at all costs even if it means cooking up Hollywood-style comedy such as the (Pastor Evan) Mawarire case.”

The authorities had arrested him on Tuesday and preferred charges of inciting public violence.

But on Wednesday morning, prosecutors tried to charge him with attempting to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government, a far harsher charge that would have made it more difficult for Mawarire to be released on bail.

Provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe said in his verdict, prosecutors had acted unconstitutionally by failing to “inform the accused of the charges he was facing at the time of his arrest.”

“Tajamukas/Sesjikiles found it very ridiculous for the State to spend taxpayers’ money on an innocent civilian yet it has failed to lift an eye on the $15 billion that was squandered by President Robert Mugabe and his hangers-on,” the protest group said.

“As we celebrate the freedom of ...Mawarire, let us also be reminded that the battle is not over yet.

“We still have one of our Tajamuka/Sesjikile leaders Linda Masarira who is being denied bail and 67 others detained in Harare, 54 in Bulawayo and 24 in Beitbridge.

“Let us all show the same love and solidarity and demand the release of all these innocent citizens most of whom are failing to raise bail for their release.”

#Tajamuka/Sesjikile said it will from today organise for peaceful actions to secure the release of all these innocent civilians, wherever they are.

“Play your part. Let us all come together and fight this evil system which has commercialised our justice system.

“Do not be moved by these out-dated antics as displayed by the Zanu PF government,  that is how all dictatorships operate, they thrive on instilling fear in the people by illegally arresting, abducting, beating and incarcerating people who speak up for their rights using State machinery.”

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