Popular and charismatic #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire has confirmed earlier reports by Nehanda Radio that he has left Zimbabwe but for a prior engagement and that “groups of men have been apparently looking for me at my home and office” but insists he will “be back home to my family and work soon.”
Late Friday afternoon a Nehanda Radio source claimed Mawarire had fled Zimbabwe after a failed abduction on Thursday and that he has already arranged to claim asylum in the United States. “He is already in South Africa as we speak and headed to the United States where he is expected to be successfully granted political asylum, the source said.
But in a Facebook update Friday evening Mawarire said “Fellow Citizens thank you for your concern for my safety and whereabouts. I am well and safe taking some time to recuperate. Unfortunately i have been unable to communicate via my phone as usual because the Police are still in possession of my phone.
“I am also reliably informed that groups of men have been apparently looking for me at my home and office. Currently I have travelled to attend to a previously arranged engagement outside the country and will be back home to my family and work soon.
“#ThisFlag and indeed all the other significant movements in Zimbabwe are not about one person. Take ownership of this work. I take my hat off for all your amazing efforts in building a better Zimbabwe. We will never be silenced. HATICHADA & HATICHATYA, ASISAFUNI njalo ASISESABI, FED UP & NOT AFRAID. (Please share this on whatsapp too).”
Initial information given to Nehanda Radio was that Mawarire left Zimbabwe after evading an attempt to abduct him in the same manner as journalist turned activist Itai Dzamara who has been missing for over 1 year 4 months. Mawarire himself said “I am also reliably informed that groups of men have been apparently looking for me at my home and office.”
Mawarire shot to prominence as the leader of #ThisFlag movement. His prolific Facebook video posts articulating the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans thrust him to prominence.
His stock grew even more when he was arrested on charges of inciting public violence and the charges were then upgraded to “attempting to overthrow a constitutional government.”
A record number of people attended the court hearing on Wednesday at the Harare Magistrates Court, singing and chanting in support.
Although the magistrate dismissed the charges against him as unconstitutional, there was still a lingering fear he might be re-arrested and charged with treason. Nehanda Radio