Mawarire challenges placement on remand

HARARE - Activist Evan Mawarire who is accused of treason, yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Lucy Mungwari applying to be placed out of remand.

Mawarire who was arrested on Wednesday was represented by prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who challenged the court to uphold liberty and human rights, citing that the State is playing political games because it has no case against the accused.

State prosecutor Mirirayi Shumba told the courts that the accused contravened section 22 of the Criminal Law where he incited Zimbabweans to cause violence which resulted in the death of a law enforcement agent and looting.

“I apply that the accused be placed on remand,” said Shumba.

Referring to the video that the accused sent on social media, Shumba said it is clear from the facts that certain demands were made by the accused.

“It is clear from the facts that the accused ordered the Zimbabwean populace at large to stay away until demands are met.

“Those demands are that the government address economic challenges, pay workers in USD and remove the bond note. Unless those demands are met the general populace was to remain stuck at their homes.

“It is the State’s submission that it is those utterances that caused people to boycott their workplaces and cause civil disobedience,” said Shumba.

He added that there are four witnesses willing to testify against the accused which proves that there is solid proof against the accused.

Responding to the State accusation, Mtetwa said it is appalling that the State is presenting a case referring to the evidence which they have not handed over to the magistrate to see, and are merely using an opinion of what they think the video said.

She then presented the video transcript to the magistrate which the State tried to object to but the magistrate over-ruled the objection and allowed Mtetwa to bring forward the evidence (video).

“It’s what is in the video that will assist the court to determine if any offence was committed. 

“The court should note that in the allegations presented by the State, there aren’t any words of what the video actually says,” Mtetwa said.

“You (magistrate) entitled to know exactly what the accused said in the video. Without that video you cannot deduce if really the accused incited violence. The State is deliberately keeping the video from you your worship.”

Mtetwa maintained the accused cannot be placed on remand as he has a right to fully express himself and further-more the accusations levelled against are totally opposite from what he really said in the video.

Magistrate Mungwari said the court will indeed look at the transcript first and then give a ruling.

Comments (3)

Free our hero, calling for people to stay away, and to demonstrate is a constitutional right..not inciting violence. Mawire is a very brave fellow, an under rated hero, he has done more for Zimbabwe than some preachers who collect large offerings from struggling followers, who are encourage to stay away from politics, but rather to 'seed' some more...

James - 19 January 2019

Mawarire a hero? Champions of thuggery, rioting and looting? How do you go around encouraging such depravity then start complaining about poor services and provisions the next day? Until Zimbabweans learn that they have to bite the bullet and build their own country themselves, they wallow in poverty indefinitely. Westerners are not interested in helping Zimbabwe - its called lip service.

Buns Tinobvinex - 19 January 2019

Mwawirire should just answer for his deeds - let the courts decides. Feeling the heat, MDC-A now says they were not part of it. As usual they sacrifice other peoples life for their egos, then disowns them afterwards. Hope Zimbabweans have learnt: Don't join a demo, unless the organizer of the demo is leading from the front and not watching on CNNor BBC in the conform of a hotel. This is exactly what happened here.

willo - 19 January 2019

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