Pastor Evan Mawarire has been charged for inciting violence in his country, Zimbabwe, leaving millions shell shocked.
"Pastor Mawarire has been charged with inciting members of the public to engage in public violence. Police are also insisting on conducting a search at his residence and we are not sure what they are after and ZLHR lawyers are attending to this as its plain and harassment and persecution aimed at stifling the exercise of his constitutional rights.," Kumbirai Mafunda, communications officer of the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights told CNBC Africa.
The Robert Mugabe regime is known for trumped up charges but will face a mammoth task on Mawarire’s case as he has continuously called for no violence through his videos.
Political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, weighed in saying the charges confirm that Zimbabwe is lawless and run by security agents who don't understand the law or our constitution.
"All videos by Mawarire are in public domain. They are foolproof- they preached peace. Charging him with inciting violence won't stick. It's moronic, chimerical and another deep low for Zimbabwe. Instead of arresting a pastor preaching peaceful ways of defiance they should arrest the criminals in government for economic crimes and the thugs I the police force who brutalised protestors," said Saungweme.
"Zimbabwe Police should immediately release and withdraw all trumped up charges against the #ThisFlag campaign leader pastor Evan Mawarire, wrongly arrested in a bid to prevent further protests. The police should not abuse the law and persecute Mawarire through prosecution. Dubious arrests or police brutality will not stop the people of Zimbabwe from rightfully demanding better governance," Dewa Mavhinga, a senior researcher, Human Rights Watch, said.
Mawarire has also been calling for citizens who follow him on Twitter and Facebook to desist from insulting government leaders.