#ThisFlag movement leader Pastor Evan Mawarire, who was facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government of former President Robert Mugabe, yesterday walked out of the High Court a free man after being acquitted of the criminal charges by Justice Priscilla Chigumba.
The man-of-the-cloth was also being charged with inciting public violence as an alternative charge, and the court also absolved him of any wrong doing saying there was no evidence suggesting that he urged Zimbabweans to revolt.
“There is no evidence that he (Mawarire) urged a violent removal of government,” Justice Chigumba said.
“On the two charges of subverting a constitutional government the accused (Mawarire) is not guilty and on charges of incitement to commit public violence the accused is also not guilty.”
Just after the hearing an elated Mawarire said he was happy with the judgement.
“I am absolutely elated that that I have been discharged on both charges. The whole journey has been absurd I should not have been in the dock at all. I should never been arrested, I should never have been charged. I should never have spent 11 months trying to defend myself from exercising my constitutional rights,” Mawarire said.
“I am saddened that this is what we have to go through for freedoms and rights in our nation. One hopes that as our country changes and begins to move forward that things like this should never ever be allowed to happen to the citizens of this nation.
“It is important we let the administration that is coming in right now to also know that if they do to us what Robert Mugabe’s government did to us we will do the same thing to them.”
In his defence outline and before his acquittal, Mawarire said the particulars of the main charge of attempting to overthrow Mugabe’s government did not in any way constitute any offence.
Through his lawyer Harrison Nkomo Mawarire said there were no allegations that whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, he (Mawarire) organised or set up or advanced, urged or suggested the organisation or setting up of any group of body, with a view to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means.