Zimbabwe pastor who took on Mugabe online urges reform
Evan Mawarire, 39, told The Associated Press that Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is destroying itself.
Mawarire is currently in neighbouring South Africa after launching a social media campaign, #ThisFlag, which has seen Zimbabweans wave and wear their flag as a sign of protest against the Mugabe government. Over the weekend, protesters waved flags and sang the national anthem at a cricket match against New Zealand in Bulawayo.
Mawarire said he is not seeking to become a political leader who unseats Mugabe. "In terms of me being the person, I don't know," he said. "I want to make sure that I exhaust my role as a citizen leader as best as I can, so that we leave our generation in a position to be able to move forward."
Mawarire left Zimbabwe after being arrested and briefly spending time in a cell last month. He said he had not been in touch with opposition parties in the country, nor with a group of war veterans who have strongly criticised Mugabe after being some of his closest loyalists for decades.
Mawarire's campaign comes as Zimbabwe's economy is collapsing amid a cash shortage that has prevented the government from paying nurses, doctors, teachers and police. Last month, people across the country staged the largest anti-government strike in nearly a decade.
Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980 and is the world's oldest head of state at 92, has responded by saying that people who aren't happy should leave the country.