Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe takes action against protesting preacher

July 13, 2016 9:30 am

Evan Mawarire, a young pastor, has become a household name in . Photo / AP

Zimbabwe’s Government has warned protesters they will face the
“full wrath of the law” if they heed a call by a detained preacher to
continue with the biggest demonstrations in a decade against President
Robert Mugabe.
Baptist minister Evan Mawarire has become a
household name in Zimbabwe since he started a social media campaign in
April that has tapped into mounting public anger over corruption, high
unemployment and economic woes.
In a video recorded before his arrest today, Mawarire urged supporters to go ahead with further “stay at home” demonstrations.
He
had called for a one-day protest last week which closed businesses
across the southern African nation in the biggest strike since 2005.
“The
police whose mandate is to protect life and property will be out in
full force to deal with any disturbances that may arise,” Home Affairs
Minister Ignatius Chombo told reporters.

“Let me warn the instigators behind the intended protests
that they will face the full wrath of the law,” said Chombo, flanked by
the ministers of defence and state security.

ABOUT MUGABE
1 is ’s oldest leader at 92
2 He has led Zimbabwe, a former British colony, since independence in 1980
3 It was once one of the continent’s most promising economies
4 Now it is a country mired in economic crisis with a reputation for rights abuses

After
initially ignoring Mawarire’s grainy online videos, shot on a mobile
phone and calling for mass protests, Mugabe’s Administration has started
to push back, especially after they attracted support from thousands of
unpaid civil servants.
“Yes, he has been arrested for inciting public violence and disturbing peace,” Mawarire lawyer Harrison Nkomo told Reuters.
He
said police had raided his client’s Harare home, office and church.
Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba was not available to comment on the
charges.
A copy of a search warrant seen by Reuters said police
believed Mawarire was in possession of a stolen police helmet, baton
stick and “other subversive material” that could be used to incite
public violence.
The law under which the bespectacled 39-year-old has been detained carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Mawarire
said he broke no law in calling for the one-day shut-down. More
protests are planned for Thursday and Friday as part of Mawarire’s
#ThisFlag movement, which aims to appeal to Zimbabweans’ national pride
and exploit the widespread use of social media in the country.

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