Tarisai Machakaire 17 March 2017
HARARE – Evan Mawarire yesterday demanded that the State furnish him with
a trial date or remove him from remand, but the application was dismissed.
Mawarire, whose independent social media movement #ThisFlag, catalysed
citizens’ frustration with President Robert Mugabe regime during last
year’s protests against the government’s inaction against corruption,
impunity and poverty, faces a 20-year sentence for charges that include
subverting the government and inciting public violence.
Mawarire is being represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’
Harrison Nkomo. He tabled the demand when he appeared before Harare
magistrate Barbara Chimboza.
The magistrate dismissed the application and remanded the matter to April
Nkomo applied for refusal of further remand on the basis that the State
indicated on their previous court appearance that investigations would be
completed by February 28.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa said investigations were complete and the
docket had been sent to the Prosecutor-General’s office for further
management, hence the delay in providing a trial date.
Mutizirwa argued that the application for further remand refusal was
“There is no inordinate delay, the accused person only appeared in court
on February 2 and it has just been a month,” Mutizirwa said.
“The accused person should not expect this court to vary his bail
conditions because it was granted by the High Court. They must go there if
they seek that kind of relief.” This comes as the European Union
Parliament had deplored the arrest of Mawarire. These “politically
motivated charges against him must be completely withdrawn”, urged Members
of European Parliament (MEPs).