THE trial of #Thisflag campaign leader, Pastor Evan Mawarire, continued at the High Court today with the investigating officer equating the social movement to terrorist group Boko Haram.
Valentine Maponga zifmnews.com
Under cross-examination from Mawarire’s legal team led by Harrison Nkomo, Police Chief Inspector Martin Runganga told the court that the clergyman was not an ordinary citizen and was brainwashing his congregants to revolt against the government.
“These terrorists- like groups do not just start. It is just like the Boko Haram system. The accused person started by opening a church where he is brainwashing his congregants. He started with a church and transformed into a movement,” said Runganga while disputing Nkomo’s assertion that his client was an ordinary citizen.
The State brought a compact disc with four video clips as an exhibit where Mawarire is alleged to have incited Zimbabweans to commit public violence.
After all the video clips were played in court, Nkomo challenged the State’s allegations that his client urged people to revolt against a constitutionally elected government.
“From the evidence you have brought here in court, there is nowhere the accused person is urging people to be violent. He has repeated several times that there should be no violence. If someone says no violence why are you fishing for what he meant?” asked Nkomo.
Chief Inspector Runganga responded: “Communication is very tricky, the statement ‘no violence’ can be used as a code to mean let there be violence.”
Further pressed to bring the evidence on his assertions, Chief Runganga admitted that he was only speculating.
Chief Inspector Runganga also told the court the police found no arms or weapons from Mawarire after searching his house.
The State represented by Chief Law Officer Chris Mutangadura later called in three other state witnesses, including an IT officer who downloaded the videos from Facebook. The witnesses tried to link the violence that occurred on 6 July 2016 in Harare to the videos made by Mawarire and posted on social media.
The presiding Judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba deferred the matter to tomorrow for continuation.