Prosper Dembedza, Harare Bureau
#ThisFlag founder and cleric Evan Mawarire and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union secretary-general Peter Mutasa were yesterday removed from remand at the State’s request meaning that if the State wants to press charges again it will proceed by way of summons.
The two were arrested and were facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government after they supported calls for a stay away to protest against fuel price increases in January. Yesterday’s hearing means that the two can never be arrested on the same grounds.
The State led by Mr Lancelotte Mutsokoti told the court that it will proceed by way of summons if it needs the accused persons back in court. The instruction to remove the two from remand came from the Prosecutor General’s office.
“The Prosecutor General is still perusing and considering the docket and he needs more time that’s why we decided to remove the accused persons from remand,” he said.
Harare magistrate Mrs Victoria Mashamba then removed Mawarire and Mutasa from remand and advised them that the State shall proceed by way of summons if it needs them back to court.
Allegations were that on January 1, 2019, Mutasa connived with Mawarire and recorded and published a video, which went viral on all social media platforms.
The State contends that the contents of the video was meant to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government in that Mutasa and Mawarire were coercing the Zimbabwean workers to boycott reporting for duty and encouraging civil disobedience or resistance to law.
The State further alleges the two also attempted to coerce the constitutionally-elected Government by giving demands that the boycott or civil disobedience would only end if Government attended to their demands, which were to address economic challenges, pay workers in United States dollars and to remove the bond notes.