HIGH Court Judge Justice Clement Phiri on Wednesday ended the detention of social activist, cleric and leader of #ThisFlag movement Pastor Evan Mawarire after granting him bail following a freedom bid mounted by his lawyers early this week.
Justice Phiri, dismissed the state’s case that Mawarire was a flight risk and declared that he was a suitable candidate for bail.
“Considering that the applicant presented himself through the Harare International Airport, it shows he’s likely not to interfere with court investigations,
“The state’s case seems to be weak, therefore it is my view that the applicant here is a candidate for bail and I’m of the opinion that the applicant is likely not to abscond,” said Judge Phiri
The clergyman who is facing charges of subverting a constitutionally elected government after leading protests against the government in July last year was immediately arrested on arrival at the Harare International Airport. Mawarire appeared at the Harare Magistrate Court where he was denied bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport to the High Court clerk ,report twice a week , Monday and Friday at Avondale police station and not to interfere with state witness as part of his bail conditions.
Speaking soon after the ruling, Mawarire’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo said he would be released by midday tomorrow as they are still finishing paperwork with the clerk of the High Court.
Nkomo added that Mawarire is feeling vindicated because of the ruling. “He must be feeling vindicated because apparently the judge said the state’s case is very weak, so there is every reason for him to be feeling that way.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda said Evan Mawarire’s rights were being violated.
Mafunda called for the immediate release of another incarcerated clergyman, Pastor Philip Mugadza who is facing charges of undermining the authority of the president following his self-proclaimed prophecy that President Robert Mugabe will die on October 17 2017.