Protest pastor Evan Mawarire may have vowed not to say too much before his case comes up in court – but he is demanding an apology from the government minister who said he’d skipped bail.
In a video posted soon after his release from a maximum security prison on Thursday, Mawarire warned he would be fairly quiet for the next two weeks “so that we don’t disturb the process of justice that needs to take place”.
But late on Saturday he broke his silence, tweeting from his official @PastorEvanLive account: “@SupaCollinsM please retract & apologize 4 your shameful lie to @CatrionaLaing1 that I was arrested 4 breaching bail conditions. Hamunyari [have you no shame]?”
That was a reference to IT minister Supa Mandiwanzira’s allegation this week to the UK ambassador Catriona Laing that Mawarire’s arrest proved that there was rule of law in Zimbabwe because “if you breach your bail conditions you will definitely get arrested”.
But Mawarire was not out on bail when he left Zimbabwe last July, lawyers say. In fact, charges against him had been dropped. The pastor was slapped with fresh charges of trying to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government when he returned from exile on February 1. He is due in court this Friday, as is another detained pastor Patrick Mugadza.
Minister Mandiwanzira is currently studying law part-time at the University of Zimbabwe.