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Zimbabwe protesting pastor Evan Mawarire is freed on bail | Coastweek

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe Pastor Evan Mawarire speaks to the press after his release from Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwean high court judge on Wednesday granted bail to Evan Mawarire who was arrested for organizing anti-government protests in 2016. He was released on U.S. 300 dollars bail. XINHUA PHOTO

Zimbabwe protesting pastor Evan Mawarire is now freed on bail

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- A Zimbabwean high court judge on Wednesday granted bail to a pastor who was arrested for organizing anti-government protests last year.

The pastor, Evan Mawarire, was arrested last Wednesday when he arrived in the country from the United States.

Judge Clement Phiri said Mawarire, who had been in police detention since Friday, should be released on 300 U.S. dollars bail and he must surrender his passport and report to police twice a week.

Mawarire is facing charges of subverting a constitutionally-elected government, a charge that carries 20 years in prison if convicted.

While in the United States, the pastor organized an anti-Mugabe protest during the United Nations General Assembly meeting that reportedly flopped.

The pastor launched #ThisFlag protest movement on social media, leading to his arrest in July on charges of trying to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government, but he was freed by a magistrate court that said police had not followed procedure.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Former Zimbabwean VP expels opposition party stalwarts

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Former Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru on Wednesday fired several founding members of her opposition party, accusing them of being agents of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Mujuru was fired by President Robert Mugabe in 2014 on charges of trying to topple him.

Several of her allies were also later expelled from the party.

The former VP together with the sacked officials went on to form the Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) party in 2016 to challenge Mugabe’s party in the 2018 elections.

Among the seven fired by Mujuru are former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and former Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.

Mutasa once served as state security minister in Mugabe’s government.

Mujuru said more heads were going to roll in the fledgling party to cleanse it of unwanted elements.

“As a party, we have decided to take stern measures against elements determined to stall the progress that the party has been making,” Mujuru said.

Her party last month contested in a by-election and lost to Zanu-PF, the first election that the party contested in since formation.

Mujuru is a former liberation fighter who joined cabinet at independence in 1980 as the youngest member.

She held several cabinet posts until her promotion to VP in 2004, a position she held until she was fired from Zanu-PF.

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Zimbabwe on course to meeting global HIV intervention targets

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is on course to meeting the UN global targets on HIV/AIDS, an official with the country’s National AIDS Council (NAC) has said.

NAC monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu told The Herald newspaper that some of the country’s 10 provinces had surpassed some of the targets commonly referred to as 90-90-90.

The global targets are aimed at increasing the numbers of HIV-positive people who know their status by 90 percent, those on treatment by 90 percent and have the viral load of 90 percent of those on treatment reduced to undetectable levels.

Mpofu said of the estimated 1.2 million Zimbabweans living with the virus, 74.2 percent knew their status and 86.8 percent of these were on antiretroviral treatment.

“We aim to bring the HIV epidemic under control so that it no longer represents a public health threat to any population or country,” Mpofu said.

           

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