Mugadza public nuisance trial opens

Source: Mugadza public nuisance trial opens – DailyNews Live

Tarisai Machakaire      23 February 2017

HARARE – Activist cleric Phillip Mugadza – also facing charges of
insulting people of a certain religion after prophesying that President
Robert Mugabe will die on October 17 this year – appeared in court
yesterday, as his trial for public nuisance commenced.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Blessing Murwisi, represented by
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ Gift Mtisi.

The criminal nuisance charges emanate from a November 22, 2016 incident
when the clergyman padlocked himself to iron rails at Africa Unity Square
in protest against Mugabe’s governance.

Mugadza’s trial was postponed to March 13 after Mtisi notified the court
that he needed time to go through the State papers as he had only been
furnished with them the previous day.

On Monday, he was in court over the Mugabe death prophecy case.

He was back in court the following day answering to charges of insulting
the national flag.

His lawyers argue that in all allegations, the State infringed on
Mugadza’s constitutional entitlement to freedom of expression and
opinion.

During initial remand proceedings, Mtisi challenged his client’s placement
on remand arguing there was gross abuse of his constitutional rights at
the hands of law enforcement agents.

He further submitted that allegations being levelled against his client
did not constitute the offence charged.

Prosecutor, Moleen Murozvi, alleged that at around 4pm on November 22 last
year, police officers from the reaction group were on patrol at African
Unity Square.

They reportedly heard the accused person shouting on top of his voice,
allegedly disturbing people who passed by the park.

The officers noticed that the cleric had chained and padlocked himself to
fencing rails at Africa Unity Square.

The court heard that Mugadza annoyed Parliament employees and other
members of the public.

He was subsequently arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station
after being advised of his charge.

The State intends to produce the chain and padlock used by Mugadza as
exhibits.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    If they really want to curb public nuisance they should rather deal with the 7 777 roadblocks around the country.