HARARE — A Zimbabwean court has acquited activist pastor Evan Mawarire on Wednesday after finding him not guilty of subversion trying to overthrow former president Robert Mugabe in protests last year that shut down major cities and paralysed public transport.
The court ruling came a week after Mugabe, who ruled for nearly 40 years, was ousted by a military intervention recently.
“There is no evidence that he (Mawarire) urged a violent removal of government,” high court judge Priscilla Chigumba said in her ruling.
The judge also said Mawarire had called for non-violent protests in response to the country’s economic crisis.
“This could be evidence of a freer Zimbabwe but this case had no legs to stand on. I think a lot more needs to be seen to determine whether this is a free judiciary going forward,” Mawarire told reporters in the courtroom soon after Judge Priscilla Chigumba’s judgment.
Mawarire became the face of anti-Mugabe demonstrations last year when he posted an Internet video of him wearing the national flag and lamenting Zimbabwe’s troubles.
In 2016, pastor Mawarire led a stay-at-home demonstration that lead to the first of his several arrests.The pastor’s #ThisFlag movement had been a thorn in the side of the former Mugabe government.
With Agency Inputs
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.