Kariba Pastor Patrick Mugadza (photo:Newsday).

THE trial of an anti-government pastor who is accused of abusing the national flag continued Tuesday with the cleric arguing that he never wore the banner around his neck, but a lookalike piece of cloth.

Pastor Patrick Mugadza, who is custody for separate charges of prophesising President Robert Mugabe’s death rejected prosecution claims that the exhibit brought to court was the country’s flag.

The cleric’s lawyer Obey Shava argued that his client did not abuse the national flag since he was wearing a piece of cloth similar to the national banner when he was arrested.

However, magistrate Lazini Ncube, who was seemingly irritated by the description of the exhibit, repeatedly queried Shava over the matter after which the attorney referred to it as ‘exhibit 2’.

Under cross examination, the arresting detail Assistant Inspector Hove did not dispute that the cleric was wearing a piece of cloth. “ … but it resembles the national flag, so he committed an offence he told the court,” said the police officer,” the cop added.

According to Shava, his client did not commit any crime since the material used to make the counterfeit flag “is different from the national flag”.

He also argued that Mugadza’s ‘cloth’ had an extra green line “which further shows that he did not abuse the national flag”.

“If need be, we can carry out an inspection in loco of the national flag so that you appreciate what Zimbabwe’s national flag looks like,” the lawyer said.

Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri alleges that on November 18, Mugadza, draped a national flag around his neck and wore a helmet inscribed ‘enough is enough’ while shouting on top of his voice, thereby bringing the flag into disrepute.

The case was remanded to March 1 for continuation of trial.