World News of Fri, 17 Feb 20172
Zimbabwe protest pastor hints of challenging Mugabe in 2018 polls
Pastor Evan Mawarire, the Zimbabwean activist behind the #ThisFlag movement, has hinted that he could stand in presidential elections slated for next year.
“If the need arises or if it is necessary for me to participate in the elections, I really want to make myself available for it,” Pastor Mawarire told reporters on Friday after leaving the Harare court where his subversion case was being heard.
“I have not made my decision yet but I certainly do not want to close this door,” he added.
President Robert Mugabe has had occasion to personally address Mawarire by asking him to stick to preaching and to leave politics.
Mawarire’s current disclosure means he is not letting his political gown down. he recently admonished opposition parties to do things differently if they indeed want power. “I do not think whatever it is that we are doing will go to waste.”
Evan Mawarire appeared before the the High Court on charges of attempting to sabotage the government and inciting violence. Hearing was postponed until March 16 to allow the police to continue its investigation.
He was arrested on 1 February at Harare airport, he was returning from six months of exile in South Africa and the United States. The court granted him bail a week later.
He shot to political limelight last year when he launched a protest campaign on the social networks christened #ThisFlag against President Mugabe.
In a video that quickly became viral on the internet, he appeared with the Zimbabwean flag in a sling to denounce the corruption of the regime and the difficult living conditions of the population.
Following his call, the southern African country was hit by waves of strikes and demonstrations. These protests usually ended in clashes with the police to the extent that protests were banned in the capital, Harare.
Despite the deep economic crisis in Zimbabwe and the dissatisfaction of a part of the population, Robert Mugabe, who will celebrate his 93th birthday next Tuesday, is already in the race for a new mandate in 2018.