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Supa defends Mawarire's arrest

by Staff reporter
09 Feb 2017 at 05:38hrs | Views
Minister for Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira addresses journalists while Catriona Laing, Britain’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, looks on in Harare yesterday. - Picture by Innocent Makawa

The arrest of self-proclaimed pastor Evan Mawarire should be applauded because it is in line with the country's Constitution which emphasises on the rule of law, a Cabinet Minister has said. This came after British ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Catriona Laing voiced concerns that Mawarire's arrest was unconstitutional. She also criticised the cyber crime law that is being drafted by Government.

Ms Laing was speaking yesterday when she paid a courtesy call on Information Communication Technology and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira.

Mawarire, who made a name for himself internationally by mobilising people to illegally demonstrate against Government under his shadowy #This Flag movement, was arrested at the Harare International Airport on the 1st of February.

Addressing journalists in Harare after meeting Ms Laing, Minister Mandiwanzira said that the law in Zimbabwe was not segregatory and if anyone broke the law, justice would take its course.

"I was very clear that it is very important that the world understands that Zimbabwe is very serious about the rule of law," he said. "It doesn't matter who you are, whether you are a politician, a traditional leader, a businessman or a church leader, if you break the law it will take its course.

"Therefore, his (Mawarire) arrest must be seen in the context of there being the rule of law in our country, that if you breach your bail conditions you definitely will get arrested."

Minister Mandiwanzira advised Ms Laing to use her worldly influence in clearing Zimbabwe's name, which has been dragged into the mud for allegedly infringing on Mawarire's rights.

He said it was speculation that the draft bill regarding cyber crime had already been finalised and that it violated the public's right to social media expression. "I have mentioned to the ambassador that the civic society that have come to her really have no reason to be worried because we are taking into account all the concerns by Zimbabweans," said Minister Mandiwanzira.

"We have not taken this Bill to Parliament yet; people are still free to bring their contributions so that we can incorporate them in the Bill." Minister Mandiwanzira reiterated that countries coming to Zimbabwe with food aid should also consider investing and putting aside capital for Zimbabweans to start their own businesses, so that they can produce for themselves.

Source - the herald