Pastor Evan Mawarire ‘charged with inciting violence’
A Zimbabwean pastor leading a campaign against the government’s handling of the economy has reportedly been charged with inciting public violence.
His own #ThisFlag Twitter campaign feed and the state-run Herald paper tweeted that Evan Mawarire was also being charged with disturbing peace.
Activists organised a “stay-at-home” protest last Wednesday and planned similar shutdowns this week.
It has mostly been organised on social media and WhatsApp using #ThisFlag.
Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has worsened recently, leading to a chronic cash shortage and delays paying civil servants
Pastor Mawarire was summoned for questioning by police ahead of a two-day “stay-at-home” protest called for Wednesday and Thursday.
Several hours after he reported to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Tuesday morning, the #ThisFlag Twitter account posted: “Pastor Evan Mawarire is being charged with section 36 for inciting public violence and disturbing peace.”
It included a video in which the preacher says, “You are watching this video because I have either been arrested or have been abducted. It’s a video we had pre-recorded for a day like this one.”
He ends his message saying that he hopes the shutdowns have been successful.
“Hold this government to account. Never let them get away with anything,” he says.
“Remember this flag is our flag, no-one else loves Zimbabwe more than a Zimbabwean.”