WASHINGTON DC —
Pastor Evan Mawarire of hashtag thisflag campaign says he is in the United States courtesy of President Robert Mugabe who told thousands of people recently that people like him are not fit to live in the country.
The president was reacting to public protests that rocked the country last month following a call by Pastor Mawarire and Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign for Zimbabweans to fight against the current social, economic and political problems in the country.
Addressing Americans, Zimbabweans and other stakeholders at the Atlantic Council Center for African Affairs, Pastor Mawarire said he left the country with a heavy heart.
“My very presence in the United States in courtesy of citizen number one in Zimbabwe who himself said people like Mawarire have no place in Zimbabwe and that he must leave … And that is my home and nobody, absolutely nobody including the president of the republic of Zimabbwe can ban me or any other citizen from home for standing up for what we believe in.”
He said the tragedy is that Zimbabweans are being victimized for demanding that the government should address their needs.
Pastor Mawarire added that at times when Zimbabweans make some demands they are said to be driven by the West. He said this is far-fetched.
“There is nothing Western-funded about that … So, my mark words as this broadcast is happening right now, right now I would not be surprised if it shows up … So, did you see him sitting with his funders.”
Apart from that the minister of religion noted that it is puzzling why the president has not yet fished out people in his government who looted the missing $15 billion in diamond revenue.
“Our government has failed to bring one person to account for the missing $15 billion. Do you know how much money that is? Fifteen billion dollars. And you can arrest a guy that has a church of 15, no wait a minute I lie, 48 people. You can arrest that guy and charge him but you can’f find a person among your own lieutenants that is responsible for that kind of money and for us we began to see that we have a case with the issues, let’s press the buttons of the issues.”
He said all what Zimbabweans need are jobs to sustain their lives. “I loves seeing another campaign that was started in Zimbabwe by a group of students.
"What they did is that they took their graduation gowns and graduation caps and they went onto the streets and they were selling sweets and chocolates like vendors and they were playing football in the city square putting on their gowns to show that we are unemployed, to show that our government has caused the very gowns of knowledge to be a sign of wasted talent.”
Pastor Mawarire urged Zimbabweans to stage protests everyday to ensure that they get their country back from the ruling Zanu PF party.
“It is my hope going forward that every six June every single year from now on without government’s permission in Zimbabwe will always be a day the citizens will always stay at home.”
He added that Zimbabweans have to fight for their own freedom using the flag as a beacon for their struggle.
Pastor Mawarire noted the struggle for freedom should continue even if he is out of the country.
“I am not a man of vast educational assumptions but I do know when I am hungry, but I do know when I see that my future is being destroyed. This one statement encapstulates how we started and how we carry on today and it simply says ‘if we do not cause the politician to change then we must inspire the citizen to be bold’ and that’s our rallying cry because all we have as citizens is each other ... We are discovering that our power is in our numbers.”