#ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire has been back in court in Zimbabwe on subversion charges that could see him jailed for as long as 20 years.
Earlier this week, a magistrate in Harare threw out new charges against him when he was arrested after preaching at his church on Sunday. He had been attacking Robert Mugabe’s government for the return of food and petrol shortages.
But these earlier charges which saw him court again yesterday date from events in January this year and July last year.
He posted on Facebook: ‘Quick update. I’m at the High Court today for the continuation of my trial on 2 counts of subversion (attempt to overthrow the government) and 2 counts of inciting public violence. These charges arise from last year’s call to stay away from work and school on 6 July 2016 and my participation at a peaceful legal demonstration in New York at the United Nations general assembly 2016. I ask for your prayers that all will be well. My release on Tuesday after the state tried to bring false charges against me after having arrested me on Sunday at church, is a testament to my innocence and more so the blatant attempt by the state to try to silence the citizen’s voice. God bless you as we stand peacefully for a better Zimbabwe #ThisFlag.’
Mawarire’s #ThisFlag campaign has captured attention worldwide after he attacked Mugabe and his government while draped in the flag.
David McGuire, of the US embassy in Harare, said in a statement: ‘The United States is monitoring the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and intimidation for political purposes. We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly. We call on the government of Zimbabwe to respect and to protect the human rights of all persons in Zimbabwe, consistent with international human rights norms.’
Mawarire quoted Psalm 121 in court:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.