Remnant Church senior Pastor Patrick Philip Mugadza is in a hotter soup. This time, he would be docked in Zimbabwe’s Constitutional court. He is being paraded for a one-man protest against President Robert Mugabe.
The clergy was granted $50 bail for breaching Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23. Magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa on Thursday referred his case to the highest court. This was after his attorney Lizwe Jamela applied that his case be heard in the constitutional Court.
Last December, the clergy was charged with criminal nuisance for carrying out an anti-government protest during ZANU PF 15th National People’s Conference in Victoria Falls. The offence, as stated contravenes Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Arguing in his application, pastor Patrick’s attorney maintained that his client had the legal right to freely demonstrate and express himself.
“It is not for this court to determine whether the alleged contravention of the declaration of rights actually took place,” said Jamela in the application.
“That is an issue for the Constitutional Court to deal with. All that this court is empowered to do is to determine whether or not the request is frivolous or vexatious,”Jamela argued.
His attorney, who was bent on making the state see reasons with his client further argued, “For the avoidance of doubt, this was an orderly and peaceful display as well as public preaching to send a religious message to the public and the president who happened to be in Victoria Falls at the time in question.
“The alleged placard as captured carried a biblical message found in the book of Proverbs 21 verse 13; this was delivering and expression of a message in terms of the accused person’s religious belief and calling,” reads the application.
While pastor Patrick was arrested last year, reports said that he embarked on a hunger strike in one of the weeks. His lawyer confirmed and revealed that his client refused to eat, protesting against poor conditions in the prison, but he was later persuaded to give up the protest by other inmates.
“Yes, he was on hunger strike, but it was just for one day as he was convinced to eat by someone in the cells.”
“He said he was demonstrating against poor living conditions at the prison and injustice,” his lawyer said.
When he was released, the defiant pastor vowed that he won’t be distracted by the way he was treated. He strongly maintained that he would continue to kick against Mugabe’s regime which has forced people to wallow in penury and untold hardship.
He also called on the president to show recommendable strides in searching for Itazi Dzamara. Dzamara is Zimbabwe’s activist cum journalist who was abducted last year while he was in a barbershop. Pastor Patrick has accused Mugabe for the journalist’s disappearance.
Speaking to Journalists at the barbershop, Pastor Patrick said President Mugabe was being “used” by the “devil”. He said,
“It is not a mermaid which took him, because he was nowhere near a river, neither was he mentally ill to the extent that we might believe that he went into the forest. He was taken by someone to wherever he is and we are saying that state should value human life.”
“What is going on at the moment is that somebody is so much at work and that somebody is the devil. For example, you may have a hammer and a nail; they can stay together very well inside a tools box but the moment a carpenter comes in then there is war between the hammer and the nail and this is the reason we should pray for the nation.”
Itazi Dzamara Trust president, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya also said that Mugabe’s “reluctance” in showing concern and comfort to Dzamara’s family is very disheartening.