ZIMBABWE – A Kariba pastor Patrick Mugadza, who was arrested in Victoria Falls for demonstrating against President Robert Mugabe’s alleged misrule during the recent Zanu PF conference, embarked on a day-long hunger strike last week, it has emerged.
Mugadza’s lawyer Thulani Nkala yesterday revealed that his client refused to eat, protesting against conditions in remand prison, but was persuaded to stop the protest by fellow inmates.
Nkala said the pastor’s action was driven by injustice and poor living conditions in prison cells.
“Yes, he was on hunger strike, but it was just for one day as he was convinced to eat by someone in the cells,” he said.
“He said he was demonstrating against poor living conditions at the prison and injustice.”
Nkala said Mugadza, who was granted $500 bail by the Victoria Falls magistrate court, was still detained because he had failed to raise the money.
The pastor’s wife Thelma said her husband’s friends had been trying to mobilise money, but they had not yet raised the required amount.
“We do not have any money here. His friend, a pastor Zenda from Masvingo told my uncle who communicated with him that so far they have raised $200 and they hoped to get enough money by Monday [tomorrow],” she said.
Thelma said the pastor’s Remnant Church congregants were now too few to raise the money as most had left for churches that specialised in prophesy and miracles.
She said she was not aware of the details of her husband’s arrest as he had just told her that he was going to pray for Zimbabwe.
“When he left he said he was going to be holding prayers for Zimbabwe,” Thelma said.
“To be honest, I only learnt about his arrest from the newspapers and I do not have any other information.”
Police often deal ruthlessly with people trying to protest against Mugabe’s rule, using draconian security laws.