Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday accused Pastor Evan Mawarire, leader of the #ThisFlag movement, of inciting violence.
It is the first time Mugabe has commented on the revolt against the economic crisis in the country saying,
“The Mawarire’s and those who who believe in that way of living in our country, well, are not part of us. You can’t urge people to adopt violence, violent demonstrations as the way of life or the way of solving grievances. No, we will say no, forever no.”
“Find another environment, if you are a pastor, I don’t know if he is a man of religion. A man of religion we would hope would preach biblical peace”, he added.
Mugabe also accused the activist of being sponsored by foreign countries set on destabilising his administration.
Mawarire rallied followers under his #ThisFlag social media campaign. He was arrested last week and formally accused of treason but was freed when a court threw out the charges.
Mawarire appeared in the packed Harare courtroom draped in the Zimbabwean flag after spending a night in police cells as officers searched his house, church and office.
Magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe said prosecutors presented different charges from those read out to Mawarire when he was arrested.
Hundreds of Mawarire’s supporters gathered outside the court, waving the national flag and singing protest songs.