Pastor Mawarire could face re-arrest under new charges

In Zimbabwe, the leader of last week’s protests and stay-aways Pastor Evan Mawarire was released from court late last night, after being charged with treason.

A magistrate refused to hear the case, saying the charges had been brought illegally, while over two thousand supporters waited outside that court room.

When the magistrate asked which lawyer represented Mawarire yesterday, some fifty lawyers put up their hands.

Dr Alex Magaisa law lecturer from the University of Kent and former advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai speaks to Stephen Grootes about Mawarire's release.

He says he was not surprised the leader was released. These are the Zimbabwean regime's tactics, he says.

They throw in a charge like that, treason, subverting constitutional government against dissenters, to frighten people, but they know very well the charges won't stick.

Dr Alex Magaisa law Lecturer University of Kent

Grootes asked Dr Magaisa about the magistrate's ability to act independently as he did.

This matter was political... there may have been a few political fingers influencing the process.

Dr Alex Magaisa law Lecturer University of Kent

Dr Magaisa believes the state was concerned about the crowd's reaction if the pastor had not been released.

He says Zimbabwe want to maintain western financial support and avoid losing investors. So the government used this to demonstrate their respect for the rule of law.

The economic factors are going to be critical.

Dr Alex Magaisa law Lecturer University of Kent

Zanu-PF are predictable if one goes on past conduct, says Dr Magaisa. They may well re arrest Pastor Marariwe, on different charges as they have done in the past. This is not over yet, he says, and there will be further repression.

Daily Maverick journalist Simon Allison joins Stephen Grootes on the line about the very latest.

It is a very youth driven movement, which given Zimbabwe's demographic bodes well because it is a very young country. Most of the protesters were youth

Simon Allison. Daily Maverick

Many young people, members of the legal fraternity, vendors, and several high profile religious leaders made up the large crowd outside court.

He cannot be arrested again on the same facts, so if they do re-arrest him, they will need to come up with new case.

Allison says this was an unprecedented show of support for Mawarire.

This was something that Zimbabwe has not seen, a mass protest in support of an individual, and they will have to think very carefully before charging him again, and making him even more of a martyr than he already is.

Simon Allison. Daily Maverick

Listen to the interviews below:

Read More
Stop playing politics when dealing with transformation in agriculture - Zokwana

Stop playing politics when dealing with transformation in agriculture - Zokwana

Agriculture minister says ANC understands the crucial role of commercial agriculture in providing food security.

City of Joburg system failure will affect over 400 000 account holders

City of Joburg system failure will affect over 400 000 account holders

City is investigating whether tampering is the cause of massive billing system failure. Find out here what they recommend you do.

Obese kids are 20 times more likely to become obese adults - expert

Obese kids are 20 times more likely to become obese adults - expert

On Wednesday the Discovery Health released the 2016 Healthy Active Kids SA report card.

Why Competition Commission probe won't bring down high data costs

Why Competition Commission probe won't bring down high data costs

Analyst explains why Telecomms Minister Cwele's call for Competition Commission and Icasa data costs probe will not solve problem.

Tightening laws to curb crimes against women is not the answer - Section 27

Tightening laws to curb crimes against women is not the answer - Section 27

Section 27 says comprehensive laws already exist and there needs to be education about how to use the laws and better enforcement.

PSA move to rejoin FEDUSA takes membership to over 700 000

PSA move to rejoin FEDUSA takes membership to over 700 000

The Public Servants Association said its decision to rejoin Fedusa is to strength its power.

Popular articles
Rand reacts positively to news of Zuma's possible removal

Rand reacts positively to news of Zuma's possible removal

The rand strengthened against the US. dollar to 13.0218 following the reports that the ANC NEC could remove President Jacob Zuma.

Capitec Bank comes out tops

Capitec Bank comes out tops

A new survey shows the not-so-small-anymore bank has the best digital banking offering in South Africa.

Parents frantic search for children after 19 killed in alleged suicide attack

Parents frantic search for children after 19 killed in alleged suicide attack

19 people have been killed and 52 injured in blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena on Monday night.

3 best shares to buy right now (by Falcon Crest Asset Managers)

3 best shares to buy right now (by Falcon Crest Asset Managers)

Looking for stock picks? Bruce Whitfield interviews Falcon Crest Asset Managers Chief Investment Officer Farai Mapfinya.

Steam rooms and saunas will be closed from Wednesday at Virgin Actives in CT

Steam rooms and saunas will be closed from Wednesday at Virgin Actives in CT

The gym will be imposing strict measures to save and use water wisely across the city.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.