ZIMBABWEAN police on Wednesday 01 February 2017 charged Pastor Evan
Mawarire with subverting a constitutional government after arresting
the clergyman upon his arrival in the country from the USA.
Pastor Mawarire was arrested at Harare International Airport on his
return home and detained at Harare Central Police Station before he
was charged with subverting a constitutional government as defined in
Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act
According to a warned and cautioned statement, which was recorded from
Pastor Mawarire on Wednesday evening, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)
officers alleged that the clergyman incited Zimbabweans from “all
walks of life either locally or internationally” to revolt and
overthrow a constitutionally elected government.
The ZRP officers charged that Pastor Mawarire, who is represented by
Harrison Nkomo and Sharon Hofisi, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights, circulated several videos on social media platforms
inciting Zimbabweans “to stage violent demonstrations to subvert the
constitutional government of Zimbabwe and resultantly from August 2016
to January 2017 there have been violent demonstrations in the country
where several property was destroyed.”
The police officers alleged that on 15 September 2016, Pastor Mawarire
incited some Zimbabweans living in the USA and “all over the world”
through social media to converge in New York on 22 September 2016 to
“confront” President Mugabe, who was attending the United Nations
General Assembly and order him to “immediately” resign from his
position accusing him of destroying the country.
In July 2016, ZRP officers arrested and charged Pastor Mawarire with
inciting public violence at a time when Zimbabweans staged crippling
anti-government protests before prosecutors altered the charges to
attempting to overthrow a constitutional government. However, Harare
Magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe set free the clergyman after ruling that
ZRP officers had violated his constitutional rights in arresting and
detaining him and that it was also unconstitutional for prosecutors to
bring fresh charges against the clergyman while in court.
In September last year, President Mugabe told his ruling ZANU PF party
supporters upon returning from New York that Pastor Mawarire was a
“great shame” and a “disgrace” for “allowing himself to demonstrate
against the country” during the United Nations General Assembly.