Zim angry, confused, divided over Mawarire
ANGER and confusion characterised the mood this weekend over Pastor Evan Mawarire’s failure to return to Zimbabwe where he started his anti-government protests with a simple post to Facebook a few months ago, New24 has reported.
According to the report, the news that Mawarire may decide to settle in the US had left Zimbabweans “bitterly divided” with some feeling betrayed by the churchman who preached fearlessness ahead of his departure to South Africa.
Mawarire was freed by a Harare magistrate last month after spending a night in police cells on charges of plotting to overthrow a constitutionally elected government.
Chances that Mawarire could face more trouble if he were to return to Zimbabwe are high after official rhetoric against his #ThisFlag and its sympathisers has gone up, the report said. President Robert Mugabe himself has said Mawarire is “not part of us” and “must leave” Zimbabwe if he is unhappy with what is happening in the country.
Recently, the government revealed that it was crafting the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill, to control what it calls abuse of the social media.
“Mawarire appears to have little doubt of the fate that awaits him. His official #ThisFlag movement’s Facebook page earlier this week compared his return to jumping out of an aeroplane without a parachute,” said News24. According to the report, #ThisFlag said: “[It] doesn’t make you ‘unafraid’… it makes you stupid.”
“But others ask what happened to Mawarire’s “We are not afraid” (Hatichatya in Shona) slogan. Echoing the views of many on Twitter, writer Jean Gasho said on her blog she felt “confused” by Mawarire’s claim that his movement was not about one person,” said News24.
The report quotes @SueNyathi saying: “My admiration for Pastor Evan has not diminished. He stood up and spoke up. He stirred fierce pride and patriotism through #ThisFlag.”
Higher Education Minister @ProfJNMoyo: “Why is it so difficult for this #Pastor4Hire to say he’s going to get paid by the US founders and funders of #ThisFlag?”
Advocate Fadzayi Mahere wrote on Facebook: “Whatever your view of Pastor Evan and his choices, he’s not your enemy. He hasn’t destroyed the economy,” says the report.