Pastor Evan Mawarire has been charged with attempting to overthrow government after state prosecutor changed charges against him from inciting violence to subverting a constitutional government in contravention of Section 22 (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The state argues that Mawarire, who was arrested on Tuesday, sought to overthrow government through his internet campaign that inspired rare protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
After charging him on Tuesday, officers searched his house, church and office claiming he was in possession of a police helmet and baton stock allegedly stolen during protests last week.
Mawarire was brought to court Wednesday after spending the night in police cells only to be told that charges had been changed and that he can only apply for bail at the High Court.
His lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, immediately made an application against change of charges and demanded the release of his client saying both his arrest and detention were unlawful.
The charge of attempting to overthorw a consitutionally elected government may have taken many aback as Mawarire has been calling for peaceful stayaways. Through his ThisFlag social movement, Mawarire is calling on people to peacefully stay away from work until government addresses public grievances such as corruption, police brutality and non-payment of civil servants’ salaries.
Mawarire charged with attempt to overthrow Govt
Source: New Zimbabwe