HARARE – Evan Mawarire yesterday demanded that the State furnish him with a trial date or remove him from remand, but the application was dismissed.
Mawarire, whose independent social media movement #ThisFlag, catalysed citizens’ frustration with President Robert Mugabe regime during last year’s protests against the government’s inaction against corruption, impunity and poverty, faces a 20-year sentence for charges that include subverting the government and inciting public violence.
Mawarire is being represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ Harrison Nkomo. He tabled the demand when he appeared before Harare magistrate Barbara Chimboza.
The magistrate dismissed the application and remanded the matter to April 21.
Nkomo applied for refusal of further remand on the basis that the State indicated on their previous court appearance that investigations would be completed by February 28.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa said investigations were complete and the docket had been sent to the Prosecutor-General’s office for further management, hence the delay in providing a trial date.
Mutizirwa argued that the application for further remand refusal was misplaced.
“There is no inordinate delay, the accused person only appeared in court on February 2 and it has just been a month,” Mutizirwa said.
“The accused person should not expect this court to vary his bail conditions because it was granted by the High Court. They must go there if they seek that kind of relief.” This comes as the European Union Parliament had deplored the arrest of Mawarire. These “politically motivated charges against him must be completely withdrawn”, urged Members of European Parliament (MEPs).