Pastor Evan Mawarire #ThisFlag Found Not Guilty

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Pastor Mawarire released:

Pastor Evan Mawarire has been freed by Harare Regional Magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe.ZIMBABWE-PROTESTS-07-07-2016-19-07-41-172

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Mr Chikwekwe said the state violated Section 50 and Section 70 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that an arrested person must be informed of charges he is facing.

Mawarire (39) was facing charges of subverting a constitutionally elected government as defined in Section 22(2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The state alleged that from January to July this year, Mawarire organised a group of people to take over the government through unconstitutional means.

According to the state, the accused, who is the founder of ThisFlag media, went on the social media inciting the citizens to revolt against the government.

He is further alleged to have caused people in Epworth, Mabvuku, Ruwa and Budiriro to barricade the road and attack police officers and further caused schools to close, while calling for people not to go to work.

He is also alleged to have gone on social media thanking Zimbabweans for causing violence

As the public prosecutor, Mr Jonathan Murombedzi was going through the state papers, the gallery which was packed with lawyers, booed, resulting in the court warning that the proceedings will be held in camera.

Mawarire’s lawyers challenged the state for changing the charges from causing public violence to subverting the government.

Initially, the police charged him under Section 187 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which prohibits inciting public violence.

The lawyers argued the new charges come as a surprise, adding the police have not recorded a warned and cautioned statement based on the new charges.

The charges of subverting a constitutional government attracts up to 20 years in prison without an option of a fine.

A crowd of Mawarire sympathisers gathered outside the Harare Magistrates Court as proceeding were underway.13680777_612026265637425_399734337272504250_n

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