State drops subversion charges against Mutasa, Mawarire

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THE State has dropped subversion charges against Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa and firebrand pro-democracy campaigner Evan Mawaire before plea.

The two were facing charges of plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration through organising the violent January anti-government protests which elicited an angry State reaction leading to the killing of 17 civilians by security forces.

The State will proceed by issuing summons against the labour union leader Mutasa and Mawarire if it intended to prosecute the two.

January 16 this year, Mawarire and Mutasa circulated a two-minute video which went viral on social media calling on citizens to stage a peaceful protest against the deepening economic and political crisis in the country.

What followed were wild protests among Zimbabweans with Mnangagwa’s controversial announcement of a sharp hike in fuel prices providing the spark to the chaos.

Mutasa and Mawarire urged citizens to boycott work in protest over the economic situation.

Mawarire was arrested on 17 January and later released on bail after 13 days in remand prison.

Mutasa was also arrested a week later and freed on bail after also spending days in remand prison.

Nearly a thousand people were arrested over the protests and these include opposition MDC MPs and senior party officials.

A lot of them were denied bail or what the lawyers said fair court hearings.