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Zimbabwe: Pastor Mugadza’s Flag Abuse Trial Starts

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Zimbabwe: Pastor Mugadza's Flag Abuse Trial Starts

The case in which anti-Mugabe pastor Patrick Philip Mugadza is accused of "possessing a national flag for political mischief" started Monday with the cleric denying the charges.

Mugadza who is represented by human rights lawyers, appeared before magistrate Lazini Ncube and denied the allegations saying he was exercising his freedom of expression which is guaranteed by the country's constitution.

Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri alleges that on November 18 last year, and in the capital's CBD, Mugadza draped a national flag around his neck and wore a helmet inscribed 'enough is enough' while shouting on top of his voice thus bringing the flag into disrepute.

Mukumbiri started by calling chief witness, Assistant Inspector Hove, who arrested the cleric.

Hove however, left the court in stitches after he failed to describe the national flag under cross examination with one of the lawyers, Obey Shava.

After being asked to describe the flag and the colours it has, Hove told court that the flag had four colours and on mentioning the colours he left out white.

He later told court that studying the flag was not part of his job before the case was adjourned to Tuesday for trial continuation.

The penalty of Mugadza's alleged crime is a fine not exceeding $200 or 6 months' imprisonment or both.

The cleric also has a pending criminal nuisance case before the same court.

Source: New Zimbabwe (London)

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