Wednesday, 13 July 2016

8 things to know about the man behind Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire

Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire is the man credited with spawning a viral – and surprisingly effective - subversive internet campaign against President Robert Mugabe‚ under the hashtag #ThisFlag.


He was ordered to report to the police in Harare on Tuesday and charged with inciting public violence and disturbing the peace.

Regarded as a hero by many‚ and a villain by government ministers‚ he was a driving force behind a one day stay-away that shut down parts of the country last Wednesday. This is what you need to know about him:

Mawariri is a 39-year-old married father of two children.
8 things to know about the man behind Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire
- He is a Baptist minister and master of ceremonies

- He became an activist hero by accident. Worried about paying his children’s school fees‚ he wrapped the national flag around his neck and spontaneously voiced his frustration about the state of the country in a video that quickly went viral.

- He describes himself as “just a regular guy who likes to express himself” but knows his outspokenness about corruption and maladministration puts his life at risk.

- He’s received death threats and uploaded a YouTube video after last Wednesday’s stay away describing how unknown men tried to abduct him.

- #ThisFlag became so successful as a form of protest‚ partly‚ because he is apolitical – appealing to citizens despite their differences – and encouraged people to stay home as a form of protest‚ avoiding clashes with police.

- Mawariri has 36111 followers on Facebook and 18‚300 followers on the twitter handle @PastorEvanLive - Zimbabwean higher education minister Jonathan Moyo‚ expressing government sentiment about his activism‚ said on twitter: “Oh. Very revealing. So #ThisFlag thing is a pastor's fart.”
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