HARARE – The activist pastor — Phillip Mugadza — who was charged for prophesying that President Robert Mugabe would die in October this year was yesterday further remanded in custody.
Mugadza — leader of the Kariba-based Remnant Church — claimed he had received a prophecy from God that soon-to-be 93-year-old Mugabe would die on October 17.
He will endure more time in prison as his lawyers were yesterday constrained from instituting any legal proceedings guaranteeing his freedom as his court record was said to be in Bindura, after the presiding magistrate was transferred there.
Mugadza appeared before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube yesterday for his routine remand hearing.
He was arrested on January 16 after appearing at the magistrates’ court on a separate charge of abusing the national flag. He also faces another charge of public nuisance after holding a one-man anti-government protest last year.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa sought a postponement to March 3 after advising the court that “Mugadza’s record was on its way from Bindura”.
His lawyers — Gift Mtisi and Obey Shava — objected to the postponement and requested to have the matter heard on Monday next week.
Shava notified the court of their intentions to apply for refusal of further remand if the State continues failing to furnish the cleric with a trial date.
“We could not make the application today because it is held by the magistrate who entertained our client’s matter in Bindura.
“We shall present the full application on Monday if the State avails the record,” Shava said.
The State accused Mugadza of causing an offence and insulting the Christian religion and the African tradition by predicting someone’s death, arguing it is taboo to do so.
“It was on December 26, 2016 when I was in prayer and God said to me this coming year the president is dying and he told me that he is dying on October 17, like I said earlier on that I am not happy for someone to die, but this is something that is going to happen,” he told journalists.
“People may ask me what if he does not die, I do not know how much he believes in prayer but he has to do something about this prophecy.”