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#ThisFlag: ‘I am Afraid to Come Back to Zimbabwe’ says Mawarire

For Pastor Evan Mawarire, returning home to Zimbabwe is a scary prospect - he is a wanted man. The instigator of the #ThisFlag campaign is...

For Pastor Evan Mawarire, returning home to Zimbabwe is a scary prospect - he is a wanted man.

The instigator of the #ThisFlag campaign is on a tour of South Africa and he has been addressing various media outlets and students.

Once his tour is done, however, he will have to face the consequences of speaking out against the Zimbabwean government.

“If I say to you I am not afraid of going home, I would be lying. The president of the country of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, in the last two weeks, in his last two public speeches, has attacked me,” Mawarire says.
Evan Mawarire Being Led to the Police Station by his Lawyer 

“The first comment that was made was that I caused violence, that people like me have no place in Zimbabwe and I must go where my funders are, wherever my funders are. That concerns me when my president says that about me, an upstanding citizen.

“All I did was to say to my government: ‘There’s something wrong. Guys, please help us, there’s something wrong.’ And I’ve been asked not to come back home.

“In the second speech, he literally said we must not meddle in the politics of the country, and we will rot in jail, and that I will be dealt with. The very next day, over 3 000 young people marched in support of the president’s comments and they all said ‘down with Mawarire’. That is scary.

“Everybody knows my address, they know where I stay, because the charge sheet against me was snapped up by social media. I cannot go home unless there’s a guarantee of my safety. I have a family I need to take care of and think of.

“As much as I say I am not afraid of the government of this country, I still feel I have a job to do and I want to be able to do so safely.” 

The #ThisFlag campaign went viral in May when Mawarire took to social media to speak out about poverty, corruption and injustice in Zimbabwe.

He said it was not his plan to subvert the the government, but he merely wanted to engage with the country’s leadership to address “those three simple issues”. Mawarire was detained for two days before standing trial for treason in July.

He was released on bail after the court found the police to have acted unconstitutionally when they arrested him. - Online

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