We give you updates of the court proceedings at the Harare Magistrates’ Court where activist Evan Mawarire is appearing
Source: Live updates: Mawarire appears in court – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 3, 2017
We give you updates of the court proceedings at the Harare Magistrates’ Court where activist Evan Mawarire is appearing on charges of subversion, plots to remove a constitutionally-elected government, abuse of the national flag and inciting public violence.
Mawarire was arrested at the Harare International Airport on Wednesday on arrival from the US after six months in self-imposed exile.
The state is represented by Edmore Nyazamba as the lead prosecutor, assisted by Tapiwa Kasema while Mawarire is being defended by human rights lawyers Harrison Nkomo and Jeremiah Bhamu and the magistrate is Elisha Singano.
15:50: The magistrate says he needs time to look at the papers but he not given how long it would take for his ruling.
The court has adjourned but it has not been stated when the session will resume.
15:45: Nkomo’s response to the prosecution:
“The state has an obligation to place evidence so that the court does not make a decision based on half truths.
Mawarire did to revolt is legal. …the court should not even entertain the state’s because it has presented half baked facts
Mawarire is not facing allegations of coercing people but inciting people to resist passively government policies.”
15:31: Nyazamba aruges that the purpose of Mawarire urging people to resist government policy was to coerce them to embark on civil disobedience and say whether the resistance is active or passive it does not matter and that the Constitution has limitations to the exercise of these rights that Mawarire want to claim to have used and that the general law states that public safety and Public morality should be guaranteed. He adds that the rights that Mawarire says he has should not prejudice others and that the excerise of fundamental rights are not absolute .
Nkomo has said Mawarire appreciates the charges placed before him but has complaints against the police. He says the accused was detained by nine intelligence officals at Harare International Airport who refused to identify themselves and continued to interrogate Mawarire in violation of his Constitutional rights.
The prosecution has highlighted the charges against Mawarire and the defence lawyer Nkomo has argued that Nyazamba has not convinced the court why Mawarire should be placed on remand.
Said Nkomo:”… the facts so far placed before the court do not establish a case for Mawarire to be placed on remand …Mawarire is opposed to be placed on remand”
Nkomo quoted a Supreme Court judgement of 1991, which states that ‘undoubtedly an accused person is entitled to challenge the power of placing him on remand”
Nkomo added that the facts before the courts do not show an offence to have been committed by Mawarire and that the process being undertaken by the state was is abuse of authority”
Said Nkomo, ” Mawarire’s actions do not constitute an attempt to remove a constitutionally elected government as required by section 22(2) of the Constitution.”
On allegations that Mawarire resisted the introduction of bond notes and SI 64, Nkomo said every Zimbabwe citizens has a right to influence, challenge or support any government policy.
UPDATES BY XOLISANI NCUBE.