30 November 2017

Zimbabwe Pastor, Activist Found Not Guilty of Subversion

Photo: Nigel Zhuwaki
Pastor Evan Mawarire meets students in South Africa (file photo).

A Zimbabwean pastor and political activist has been acquitted of charges of subversion against the government of ex-President Robert Mugabe.

High Court Judge Priscilla Chigumba ruled Wednesday there was no evidence that Evan Mawarire called for Mugabe's overthrow last year when he led a large citizen protest against the longtime autocratic leader. Mawarire, who launched the social media #ThisFlag protest movement on social media, posted a series of videos urging people to stay home and not work or shop.

"The whole journey has been absurd," Mawarire told reporters outside the courtroom after the ruling was announced. He said "a lot more needs to be seen for us to determine" if the country's judiciary will become more independent than under Mugabe.

The 93-year-old Mugabe, who ruled the southern African country for 37 years, resigned under pressure last week after he was removed from power by the military and lost support of lawmakers in his ruling ZANU-PF party.

Mawarire warned newly installed President Emmerson Mnangagwa that if he fails to respect human rights as Mugabe did, Zimbabweans will take to the streets again.

More on This

Activist Evan Mawarire Found Not Guilty of Subversion

Evan Mawarire had faced up to 20 years in jail for organizing last year's #ThisFlag protests. In the court room,… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.