More than a thousand Zimbabweans have besieged the Harare magistrates’ court in solidarity with #ThisFlag campaigner Pastor Evan Mawarire who is facing charges of inciting violence.
Zimbabwe Independent gives you live updates of what is taking place at the Harare magistrates’ court:
16:28 Harrison addresses people and says they have 20-30 minutes. The crowd is growing more agitated as time drags on while it also appears the state security agents are being beefed up outside. Slogans now being chanted.
16:21 Defence lawyer Harrison has been asked by the magistrate to go and address thousands of supporters outside the court.
15:58 More police reinforcements coming in as people gather at the court exit. There is some tension here as the court session appears to be coming towards the end.
15:25 Nkomo says the state abducted Mawarire and gives an example of Jestina Mukoko.
15:20 Nkomo says changing the charge is unconstitutional.
15:05 Police misled the magistrate to get search warranty.
15:03 Nkomo says the accused is unlawfully in court.
15:00 lawyer Harrison Nkomo accuses court of unprofessionalism…change of charges and now he is informing Mawarire of the changes.
14:46 The crowd outside the court has swelled. People continue to sing.
14:45 ZLHR spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda says state has changed the charge against Mawarire to “subverting a constitutional government” from earlier charge of inciting violence.
13:33 A woman weeps during a prayer session to free Mawarire.
13:32 Mawarire is yet to appear in court. People are singing in front of the court as more pour in.
13:01There is a battle at the door as #ThisFlag supporters want to force their way into the court.
12:25 Delay in court case…defence counsel says investigating officer left bail opposing affidavits at home.
NewsFlash: The Magistrate presiding on the case is currently nowhere to be seen.
Zimbabwe police have reportedly seized #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire’s mobile phone handset during a search of his home after his arrest on charges of inciting violence this morning, sources close to the developments have revealed.
In a search warrant that is circulating on social media, police are also alleging that Mawarire stole a baton stick and police helmet with the intention to incite violence.
Mawarire – who last week was one of those spearheading the largely successful nationwide stay-away – had earlier this morning reported to Harare Central Police Station with a bible and his flag but without his mobile phone.
11:36 Anti-riot police closing entrance to court 6.
11:30 Mawarire back in court after being whisked through back entrance.
11:21 Tempers flare as police deny people entry into the court where Mawarire is reportedly in.
Police have since taken Mawarire back to Harare Central police station, apparently for further detention.
Dozens of police details, armed with baton sticks are also at the court where #Tajamuka pressure group leader Promise Mkwananzi made an address, reiterating they were not intending to cause any violence.
Updates by Tinotenda Samukange and Tapiwa Zivira,Online
Pictures by Aaron Ufumeli and Shepherd Tozvireva