Zimbabwe pastor jailed over prophecy that Robert Mugabe will die this year

A Zimbawean pastor who predicted the death of President Robert Mugabe has been arrested, his lawyer says.

Patrick Mugadza announced last week that the 92-year-old head of state would die on 17 October this year.

His lawyer, Gift Mtisi, told the BBC that he was relaying a “message from God. Police would have to prove that God didn’t say it”.

Mr Mugabe mocks frequent rumours of his death, saying he has been resurrected more often than Jesus Christ.

Mr Mtisi said his client had initially been charged with undermining the authority of the president, then “criminal nuisance” and finally “insulting people of a certain race or religion”.

Mr Mugadza was laughing about the charges and would plead not guilty.

“I’m still at pains to find the criminal part of it,” Mr Mtisi told the BBC.

He added the pastor had no regrets about making the prophesy:

“He’s admitting to the facts. He says he didn’t lie – that’s a message from God. Police will have to prove God didn’t say it.”

Mr Mugadza of the Remnant Church held a press conference last week at which he announced his prophecy of Mr Mugabe’s forthcoming demise.

He was arrested at the magistrate’s court in Harare where he was appearing on separate charges of wearing the national flag.

This was made an offence last year, after another Pastor, Evan Mawarire, launched a campaign urging Zimbabweans to reclaim their flag.


Robert Mugabe, 3 Sept, HarareImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMr Mugabe, 92, has mocked previous rumours of his death

Lamppost sermon

This is not Pastor Mugadza’s first brush with the law.

In 2005, he was arrested and detained for nearly a month after holding a placard telling Mr Mugabe his people were suffering under his rule.

And on Zimbabwe’s independence day last year, he gave a sermon while tied to a lamppost in Harare’s main shopping mall, saying the act symbolised the lack of freedom in the country.

Last September, the president was rumoured to have died after he reportedly cut short his attendance of an AU summit to fly to Dubai for a health check.

Mr Mugabe later joked about the rumours, saying he indeed died but only resurrected.

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