The Viral Video That Shook Mugabe’s Regime
Story from: 2oceansvibe.com
April 20 is a date many associate with lighting up a doobie, but for Evan Mawarire he lit up a nation with one simple video.
He is the pastor behind the #ThisFlag movement, which has gathered enough steam to be dubbed the biggest uprising against the evil rule of Robert Mugabe in over a decade.
The 39-year-old’s video has now been viewed almost 170 000 times on Facebook alone, and mobilised many to take part in protests against the current social and economic crises engulfing Zimbabwe.
If you happened to miss it back in April take a look at his impassioned plea:
Huffington Post with some of the reaction since:
The video hit a nerve. People began to respond by posting pictures of themselves wrapped in the Zimbabwean flag using the hashtag #This Flag and sharing the slogan “we’ve had enough, we are not afraid” in the local language Shona. In May, Mawarire urged people to carry the national flag with them everywhere they went for a week. Earlier this month, #ThisFlag activists organized [sic] the largest national stay-at-home boycott in a decade.
Of course, in true Mugabe fashion, the protests have been met with violence and intimidation by state organs, none more so than the police (his henchmen):
Zimbabwean authorities have tried to quash the movement. Police have crushed demonstrations with brutal force. A government official warned that strikers would face “the full wrath of the law.” Messaging apps inexplicably went dark on the day of the largest protest earlier this month.
There are videos doing the rounds of brutal torture – men and women being beaten on the soles of their feet and the likes – but we’ll stay away from those and focus on the bravery of the pastor and those who stood with him:
Mawarire, who says he has received threats since the video was released, was arrested and charged with inciting public violence on July 12. His supporters, fearing Mawarire might suddenly disappear like other activists, released a pre-recorded video in which Mawarire urges people to continue without him. “Maybe we shall see each other again. Maybe we shall never see each other again,” Mawarire says in the video. “Maybe we succeeded, or maybe we failed. Whatever the case, you and I have stood to build Zimbabwe.”
Mawarire, however, appeared in court on Wednesday, where over 100 lawyers showed up offering to defend him for free. Hundreds of his supporters spent all day praying, singing and dancing outside the Harare courthouse, under the watchful gaze of riot police.
By nightfall, Mawarire walked free. A magistrate (whom Zimbabweans on social media described as “brave”) threw out the government’s case because prosecutors changed the charge against Mawarire after his arrest, from inciting violence to attempting to overthrow the government, which carries up to 20 years in jail.
As you can see from this video below, a joyous crowd greeted the decision with song:
Mugabe played the usual card, accusing Mawarire of being sponsored by western powers and inciting violence on the streets.
We know for certain that Uncle Bob won’t go down without a fight, and he has wife Grace to carry on his despicable legacy once he (finally) passes, but the resilience of the Zimbabwean people will have sent shivers down his spine.
Keep fighting the good fight up north Zimbos, you have the momentum so head down and tighten those screws.
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