July 13, 2016 / 6:47 AM / 3 years ago

Zimbabwe pastor to appear in court, protest calls fall flat

Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire , who organized a 'stay at home' anti-government protest last week, arrives at the Harare Central Police station in Zimbabwe, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean preacher Evan Mawarire is due to appear in court on Wednesday to face charges of inciting public violence relating to his calls for “stay at home” protests against President Robert Mugabe, his lawyer said.

Mawarire, whose social media movement has rattled the 92-year-old Mugabe’s administration, spent the night in police cells after officers searched his house, church and office in the capital Harare as part of their investigations.

“He will appear in the magistrates court today at 8.30 a.m,” his lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, said.

After his arrest, Mawarire supporters released a pre-recorded video urging Zimbabweans to stage another stay-away protest on Wednesday, although the early signs were that most people had not heeded the call.

Queues built up as normal at bus and taxi ranks to ferry people to work in the capital, while most businesses, including banks, were open.

Teachers reported for duty at most public schools, which are conducting mid-year examinations, while nurses and doctors were at work at state-run hospitals, according to Reuters reporters.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Cropley

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