No respite for Mugabe 'death pastor'

HARARE - The cleric — Patrick Phillip Mugadza — who prophesied that President Robert Mugabe will die on October 17, this year will continue languishing in prison after his application for further remand refusal was declined yesterday.

Following the prophecy, the Kariba-based Remnant Church leader was arrested and charged with insulting people of a certain race or religion.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza yesterday, represented by Obey Shava and Gift Mtisi of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who lodged an application for refusal of further remand.

However, Chimbodza dismissed the application noting that “the delay was not an inordinate one and the State deserved more time to complete investigations”.

She further remanded him to March 3.

Mugadza was arrested on January 16, after appearing at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on a separate charge of abusing the national flag.

He also faces another charge of public nuisance after holding a one-man anti-government protest last year.

Shava had argued that Mugadza’s constitutional entitlement to a fair trial within a reasonable time had been trampled on.

“When we appeared in court on January 19, we were given notice that investigations were complete and evidence had been compiled for trial purposes. This court even made a determination to deny the accused person bail based on those submissions,” he said.

“It is surprising that the same State is now saying it is not ready for trial. This has an effect of infringing on the accused person’s right to a fair trial within a reasonable period of time. The same reasons being given by the State in its application for postponement today are the same they have been proffering since proceedings commenced against the accused person.”

Prosecutor Audrey Chogumaira said the State only needed a further two weeks to March 3, to put its house in order before Mugadza gets a trial date.

“There were outstanding witness statements that needed to be recorded but the docket is now complete. It’s not as if the State has not done anything to see the progress of the case but we just need to clarify outstanding issues before trial commences,” Chogumaira said.

The State accused Mugadza of causing an offence and insulting the Christian religion and the African tradition by predicting someone’s death, arguing it is taboo to do so.

“It was on December 26, 2016, when I was in prayer and God said to me this coming year the president is dying and he told me that he is dying on. October 17, like I said earlier on that I am not happy for someone to die, but this is something that is going to happen. People may ask me what if he does not die, I do not know how much he believes in prayer but he has to do something about this prophecy,” Mugadza told journalists.

Comments (3)

So the state can deliberately not become ready until next year and this magistrate will keep remanding him in custody? May our courts know that its part of their duty to safeguard our liberty and freedoms.

therambo - 21 February 2017

@therambo, the courts in Zimbabwe safeguard Mugabe and his family first, then Zanu PF. It ends there. That's why opposition guys who should be out are in prison and Zanu PF thieves who should be in prison, are out.

XG - 22 February 2017

This only shows how far we are in our democracy. Seriously why has this guy been arrested in the first. Is this the usual method where Zanu pf does not want to hear anyone say anything against Mugabe. Mugabe himself has already dismissed this prophecy so why keep the guy in prison. The magistrate has got it all wrong or she has been specifically chosen for her known zanupf links. It is a shame on her profession.

gerald - 22 February 2017

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