Pastor Evan Mawarire was granted bail by Justice Clement Phiri of the Harare High Court. In his ruling Justice Phiri said in his view the evidence submitted by the state was very weak and granted Pastor Evan was granted $300 bail. He also has to surrender his passport and report twice a week at Avondale Police Station.
The State had opposed the granting of bail saying that Mawarire was a flight risk as he had numerous connections outside the country. They argued that since Mawarire’s immediate family was in the United States, then there was no incentive for him not to abscond. The state also said Zimbabwe’s borders were porous and it would be very easy for Mawarire to slip through, and even harder for the State to track him down to bring him to justice. The state also stated that Mawarire had refused to reveal his residential address in the United States.
After the judge said Mawarire was unlikely to interfere as he had presented himself through Harare International Airport, the State said that. Mawarire was a “celebrated terrorist.” The state also proposed for Mawarire’s bail hearing to be postponed in the middle of the hearing.
Mawarire’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo had successfully argued that it is not a crime that Mawarire is someone who travels around the world saying that the fact that Mawarire returned to Zimbabwe voluntarily should count in his favour. Section 67 of the Constitution grants every citizen the right to challenge government policy. He also added that Passive resistance to bond notes is not a crime as section 67 of the constitution allows for it . Nkomo also argued that there was nothing subversive in Mawarire’s actions as Section 96 of the Constitution provided for the resignation of the President.
The bail hearing was initially supposed to be held in the morning but had to be postponed to after lunch despite the State’s best efforts to have the matter postponed to yet another day. In the morning, the State prosecutors had incurred the ire of Justice Phiri after they had asked for more time to prepare their response because they were not adequately prepared. The claimed that they had failed to prepare due to a power cut last night.
However, Justice Phiri would have none of it and ordered them to prepare their response and file it by 12:00 pm. The judge was in no mood to bend over backwards for the state and informed them that if they failed to file, their papers by the given deadline then the hearing was going to proceed without their input