Tarisai Machakaire 22 February 2017
HARARE – Activist clergyman Phillip Mugadza has told the court that he was
not wearing a real Zimbabwe flag but a counterfeit when he was arrested
for allegedly wearing the country’s national banner without first seeking
permission from the authorities.
Mugadza appeared before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube yesterday charged
with contravening Section 6 of the Flag of Zimbabwe Act which prohibits
possessing or wearing the flag in a manner likely to put it into
He was represented by Gift Mtisi and Obey Shava who said the cleric was
expressing his constitutional right.
“When the accused person was arrested, he was acting on God’s instructions
to pray for the development of his country.
“Would you dispute that at the material time he had actually received a
message from God pertaining this nation?” Shava asked the investigating
officer Oxwell Hove during cross examination.
Shava further argued that Mugadza was arrested wearing “a piece of cloth”
that was not the national flag.
“It resembles the national flag, it is similar and I had the impression
that he was wearing the flag of Zimbabwe,” Hove said during cross
This was after Shava had demonstrated that the alleged flag was nothing
close to Zimbabwe’s flag.
“Do you appreciate the difference between the original and counterfeit
flag? Where did you get the guts of picking a piece of cloth and label it
the Zimbabwe flag?
“Does the national flag have green material on the white patch like the
one which my client allegedly wore?” Shava asked.
Hove maintained that Mugadza’s conduct was consistent with bringing the
national flag into disrepute.
The matter was postponed to March 1 for trial continuation.
Prosecutor Oscar Madhume alleged that on November 18 last year members of
the Police Reaction Group spotted Mugadza at corner Second Street and
Nelson Mandela Avenue wearing a Zimbabwe flag around his neck.
The court heard that Mugadza also wore a white helmet inscribed “Enough is
enough” and allegedly showed disrespect.
Mugadza was immediately arrested and the flag and helmet have been
produced in court as exhibits.
The Remnant Pentecostal Church leader is also facing charges of insulting
President Robert Mugabe after he allegedly prophesied that the
nonagenarian leader would die this year.
He will also appear in court today on a separate charge of criminal
nuisance after he chained and padlocked himself on some fencing rails at
Africa Unity Square in Harare in protest against Mugabe’s government.