Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mawarire classified as ‘dangerous’ prisoner

By Bridget Mananavire

Activists cleric Evan Mawarire has been condemned to a section which shelters dangerous prisoners at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

Zimbabwe Pastor Evan Mawarire, who led protests last year against President Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian government, arrives in handcuffs in the back of a pickup truck at the Harare Magistrates Court on February 3, 2017 in Harare.
The Zimbabwean pastor who led protests last year against President Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian government was arrested at Harare airport on February 1, as he returned to the country after several months abroad. Evan Mawarire emerged as the leader of the popular #ThisFlag protest movement that quickly grew into the largest street demonstrations against Mugabe in several years. / AFP / Jekesai NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mawarire who was denied bail on Friday following his arrest on charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government, has  been classified as a “D Class” remand prisoner at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

Unless he wins his bail application at the High Court today, Mawarire would be at Chikurubi until February 17 before he goes back to court for his routine remand.

Mawarire’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo confirmed that the popular clergyman was being held at Chikurubi’s D section.

“Yes he is being held in that section. People facing serious crimes, if it is in Harare, they go to Chikurubi Maximum.  It’s not unusual. It is the prisons’ regulations,” Nkomo told the Daily News yesterday.

Mawarire’s #ThisFlag team said the pastor was doing okay in prison.

“We reassure you that he is at peace and has been treated well during his detention.

“He has asked that we respect the rule of law and allow the courts to deliberate his case without providing merit to the accusations that he is subverting a constitutional government,” #ThisFlag team said in a statement yesterday.

“We also ask that you refrain from visiting him as he is only allowed two visitors a day and we would like to give this opportunity to his family. He asks that you continue to pray with him for our country Zimbabwe.”

Mawarire, the founder and campaign leader of the #ThisFlag was arrested on Wednesday evening at the Harare International Airport when he made a surprise return to Zimbabwe from the United States of America where he had been living in self-imposed exile for six months.

After leaving Zimbabwe, he first relocated to South Africa before he eventually settled temporarily in the United States.

Before then, Mawarire had been arrested on what his lawyers had said were trumped up charges that led to his initial contentious detention, allegedly for inciting public violence and stealing a police baton and helmet.

The popular clergyman had at that point helped organise one of the most successful and peaceful demonstrations in the history of post-independent Zimbabwe, with long-suffering citizens heeding his call to stay away from work to protest the country’s worsening rot.

Dubbed Shutdown, the crippling strike forced the panicking Zanu PF government to use excessive force to quell subsequent protests, as Zimbabweans agitated for change. Daily News