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Zimbabwe Pastor Arrested for 'Denouncing' Mugabe Calls for Formation of All-Inclusive Govt

FILE: President Robert Mugabe waits to address crowds gathered for Zimbabwe's Heroes Day commemorations in Harare, August 10, 2015.

Pastor Patrick Mugadza, who staged a one-man demonstration against President Robert Mugabe at the annual ruling Zanu-PF party conference held recently in the resort town of Victoria Falls says the president should form an all-inclusive government that has technocrats to turn around Zimbabwe’s hemorrhaging economy.

Mugadza of The Remnant Church was arrested on 11 December, brought to court, fined and then freed on Thursday after Victoria Falls magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa agreed a variation of his bail from $500 to $50.

He is charged with contravening Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for allegedly demonstrating against the president.

State prosecutor, Listen Nare, alleged that Mugadza, who resides in Kariba, Mashonaland West province, also disturbed the movement of Zanu-PF party supporters who were on their way to the conference.

Mugadza carried a banner written, “Mr. President. The people are suffering. Proverbs Chapter 21 verse 13.” The verse says, "Whoever refuses to hear the cry of the poor will also cry himself, but he won't be answered.

Pastor Mugadza was represented by lawyer Thulani Mugadza, a member lawyer of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

His trial is scheduled for January 5th in Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North province.

Pastor Mugadza told VOA Studio 7 that the country’s worsening economic crisis inspired him to protest and he does not fear abduction and disappearance like human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

Dzamara, a prominent critic of Mr. Mugabe's government was on the 9th of March 2015 forced into an unmarked vehicle in Harare and has not been heard from since.