Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement has been arrested for urging Zimbabweans to rise up against the deteriorating economic situation in the country following reports of huge increases of prices of basic commodities and devaluation of the bond notes.
As Pastor Mawarire was picked up by police outside his church, the United States government said it was monitoring his arrest.
The minister of religion, who raised the ire of the Zimbabwean authorities a year ago by calling for a nationwide shutdown over the declining economic situation, made a similar move on Saturday when he went live on Facebook and urged people to stand up and fight against the worsening economic environment in the southern African nation.
In his address, he said, “What did we do to deserve this suffering nhai? There is no evil that surpasses that of enriching yourself at the expense of poor defenseless people. The extent of suffering in Zimbabwe is heartbreaking and our leaders see nothing wrong with it. God is not a fool and He will bring judgement. We will not stop speaking out and condemning evil and injustice.
“I’m not going to sit around and just let it happen all over again. Things are getting worse and we are the ones suffering. Please people of Zimbabwe let's save our nation.”
Pastor Mawarire posted a message on Twitter before he was arrested saying he had received a message that police were waiting for him outside his church.
“I'm just about to finish preaching and I'm told the police are waiting for me outside.”
Pastor Evan Mawarire has been arrested yet again, the day before he was supposed to appear at the High Court to face charges of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government. Mawarire has been charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government, again.
Police were not available for comment.
He fled to America when he was initially arrested and went back home to continue with his struggle against President Robert Mgabe’s government.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Public Affairs Officer David McGuire of the U.S. Embassy Zimbabwe’s Public Affairs Section, said, “The United States is monitoring the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and intimidation for political purposes.
“We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect and to protect the human rights of all persons in Zimbabwe, consistent with international human rights norms.”