Pastor Evan Mawarire
|Church||His Generation Church|
|Birth name||Evan Mawarire|
|Born||March 7, 1977|
|Alma mater||Prince Edward High School|
Pastor Evan (full name Evan Mawarire) is a Zimbabwean political activist, politician, religious leader, Motivational Speaker, author and leader of the This Flag Movement. In April 2016 he posted a video on Facebook with the title ThisFlag which went viral spurring the start of the #ThisFlag hashtag online. He was arrested in July 2016 after successfully calling for a national 'Stay Away' dubbed 'Shut Down Zimbabwe' charged of treason but later acquitted in November 2017 following a coup that ousted former president Robert Mugabe from power.
In January 2019, he was arrested again following the 3-day ZCTU stayaway which he had supported publicly. The stayaway protests had turned violent with retail shops looted and many vehicles burnt. He was charged again with treason on 17 January 2019.
Evan Mawarire was born on March 7, 1977. He is married to Samantha Mawarire and they have two daughters.
He did his secondary education at Prince Edward High School in Harare. Mawarire is a qualified auto electrician from the Harare Institute of Technology. Mawarire served as Child President between 1993 and 1994 after having been elected child MP for Mashonaland West Province’s Hurungwe constituency.
He was based in London England, as the Regional Director for Celebration Ministries International responsible for Europe and the Asia Pacific Rim from 2007 to 2010. In 2011 he was chosen as one of Zimbabwe’s 10 Outstanding Young People by the Junior Chamber International for moral leadership. He was the Master of Ceremonies at the wedding of politician Jonathan Moyo's daughter in 2015. Commenting on the issue Mawarire said
"Moyo is correct to say I was master of ceremonies at his daughter’s wedding. However, he did not know me. I had been hired by his daughter and in turn he had hired two other master of ceremonies and they paid me like any other professional. I work as a professional master of ceremony at all sorts of functions, including corporate."
On 20 April 2016, Pastor Evan posted a video on Facebook titled This Flag in which he decried the state of the economy and how he felt Zimbabwe was not delivering its promises to its citizens. The video went viral on Facebook (where it got more than 100,000 views) and WhatsApp. Video below:
This flag This beautiful flag They tell that the Green is for the vegetation and for the crops I don't see any crops in my country Hanzi the Yellow is for all the minerals, Goridhe, diamond, platinum, chrome I don't know how much of it is left I don't know who they sold it to and how much they got for it The Red, they say that is the blood The blood that was shed to secure freedom for me And I'm so thankful for that I just don't know that if they were here They that shed their blood And saw the way that the country is That they wouldn't demand that their blood be brought back This flag They tell me that the black is for the majority People like me And yet for some reason I don't feel like I am a part of it I look at it sometimes and I wonder Is this a story of my future Or is just a reminder of a sad past Wherever I go and I put on the colours of Zimbabwe They look at me and as if they want to laugh they ask 'Are you from Zimbabwe?' Vachiseka And sometimes when I look at the flag It's not a reminder of my pride and inspiration It feels as if I just want to belong to another country This flag And so I must look at it again with courage And try to remind myself that it is my country I look at the Green and think to myself It is not just vegetation But the green represents the power of being able to push through soil To push past limitations and flourish and grow That's me My flag The Yellow yes is about the minerals But not just the minerals that are in the ground But the minerals above it You, me We are the minerals We are the value of this land The Red, Yes, it's blood But not just blood It's passionate blood It is the will survive It is the resolve to carry on It is the want to push through to see the dreams come to pass This flag And the Black The Black is the night sky That which we emerge from and we shine It is the brilliant colours It is the wonderful and lovely fruition of everythinig that we have ever hoped for It needs a black for it to be visible This flag It is my country, My Zimbabwe We go through so much We don't look like much even now but there is promise in it I will fight for it I will live for it and I will stand for it This is the time That a change must happen Quit standing on the sidelines and watching this flag fly And wishing for a future that you are not at all wanting to get involved in This flag Everyday that it flies it's begging for you to get involved It's begging for you to say something It's begging for you to cry out And say why must we be in the situation that we are in This flag It's your flag It's my flag This flag.
After watching the video, Zimbabweans from around the world started posting selfies with the flag on Twitter and Facebook. Following the overwhelming response, Mawarire started a challenge that he called the ThisFlag Challenge. He would post a video to Facebook updating Zimbabweans on activities being carried, flag donations he was getting and the progress of the movement
Response from politicians
The fad or thing is not Zim but your political stunt which has nothing to do with the flag. Politics. Handei tione!
Mawarire said that after the posting of the initial #ThisFlag video, he received death threats via telephone, with one caller threatening to strangle him with the Zimbabwean flag:
You think you are clever? The flag you are holding can be used to strangle you. Are you a politician, an activist or pastor? Come clean and tell us where you really stand so that we can fight you on the correct turf.
Mawarire said he was living in fear after the threats.
Summoning by the Police
On 11 July 2016, Mawarire posted a video on his Facebook page confirming that he had been summoned by the Criminal Investigations Department. He also encouraged Zimbabweans to take part in a stay away that was scheduled for Wednesday 13 July 2016 and Thursday 15 July 2016 since the government had not responded to the ultimatum they had given for them to deal with issues such as corruption, poverty and police brutality. Mawarire also said that he would hand himself to the police for questioning on Tuesday 12 July 2016.
Mawarire was arrested when he handed himself over to the police for questioning on the morning of Tuesday 12 July 2016. He was charged with Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 for "inciting public violence and disturbing peace". The announcement was made via a pre-recorded video that Mawarire himself recorded so it could be released if he got arrested or abducted.
Trial and Verdict
Mawarire appeared before a Magistrate on Wednesday 13 July 2016. One hundred lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights offered to represent him. There were delays to the commencement of the trial as the investigating officer left the affidavit at Harare Police Station and had to go back for it. Mawarire was also brought to court but was returned to the police station amid fears that the crowd that had come to support him would turn violent. He was secretly brought back in a white corolla with tinted windows. The trial which was scheduled to start at 11am eventually started at 2:15pm. On the day of the trial the charges were changed from "inciting public violence and disturbing peace" to subverting a constitutionally elected government. His lawyer Harrison Nkomo cited unprofessionalism and ambush by the State. The State opposed bail and advised Mawarire to approach the High Court since his case had become a 3rd schedule one. Mawarire appeared in court with the Zimbabwean flag on his shoulders. Mawarire's case was dismissed by the Magistrate presiding over the case as it was a violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
People from all racial backgrounds and social standing, especially those from the church came to show support for the cleric during his trial. Popular figures such as Tehn Diamond, Takesure Zamar Ncube, Tudor Bismark, Shingi Munyeza, Nelson Chamisa and Jestina Mukoko were part of the crowd. Prayers were made for the Pastor and religious songs were sang through out the court proceedings. There was also heavy police presence amid fears that violence would break out but people were encouraged to desist from violence in respect of what Mawarire advocated for. When Mawarire was released the gallery broke into song singing a church hymn of thanking God. Here's the video of the court room:
After his release Mawarire addressed and thanked the crowd that had come in solidarity and reminded them that they should not tire as they were building a country for their children. Thousands shouted "Pastor! Pastor! Pastor!" as Mawarire's vehicle drove off. You can watch the video of him addressing the crowd below:
He then left the country to go visit South Africa where he was heralded by different TV stations such as ANN7 and CNBC Africa seeking to know his plans about his campaign and the state of his safety due to recent events in his life.Read more.
Despite all the rumours he continues to urge the #This flag movement to spread to all cities in Zimbawe with great anticipation that prayer meetings to save the country shall be undertaken by churches.
Undenge Must Go Petition
On 13 June 2016, Mawarire invited disgruntled citizens to sign an online petition to force Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge to step down over allegations of mishandling public funds through tender irregularities. In a Facebook post Mawarire said,
"Download #UndengeMustGo petition form here. Get your friends and family to sign it, scan it and email it back to email@example.com"
Meeting with RBZ Governor
In June 2016, Mawarire together with other citizens, met with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya concerning bond notes. Mawarire gave the opening remarks at the meeting and reiterated that the citizens of Zimbabwe did not want the bond notes.
6 July Stay Away
On 6 July, he successfully organised a national stay away with the majority of working Zimbabweans, formal and informal, around the country heeding his call to stay away from work in a bid to make government respond to pleas for better governance. Mawarire called for people to stay away from work peacefully and to not engage in any violence. The stay away was however marred by some acts of violence especially in Bulawayo where vehicles and some government property (the section of a abandoned train) were burnt. Demonstrators also burnt tyres on the roads.
After the stay away, Mawarire announced that he was asking Zimbabweans to heed his call for a further 2 day stay away from Wednesday 13 July to Thursday, 14 July 2016. On 12 July, a day before the second stay away, Mawarire was arrested and charged with Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and reform) Act Chapter 9:23. for "inciting public violence and disturbing peace".
Message To Urge Support To The Head Of Tajamuka
Pastor Evan shared his concern on social media after encouraging the support of activist Linda Masarira who is facing trial for inciting public violence after the July 6 Stay Away"
The United States urged Zimbabwe to end arbitrary arrests and intimidation of political players as the country braced for the trial of prominent preacher Evan Mawarire for alleged treason.#ThisFlag's Mawarire was initially arrested in 2016 after he led one of the most successful job boycotts in recent memory, protesting against corruption and economic problems in the country. "The United States is monitoring the trial of Pastor Evan Mawarire, and calls for an end to arbitrary arrests and intimidation for political purposes," the US embassy said in Harare "We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly. ."We support freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly. <ref="B24">Trumps admnistration is monitoring the trial of Evan Mawarire, Bulawayo 24, published: September 25, access dated: September 29, 2017</ref>
September 2017 Release
The High Court on Tuesday 26 September 2017 released Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement, who was arrested Sunday, for urging Zimbabweans to rise up and fight against the deteriorating economic situation in the country.
Mawarire's attorney Harrison Nkomo said charges laid against him defied logic.
Speaking to reporters outside the High Court in Harare, Nkomo said, "The state intended to place Evan Mawarire on remand but the court refused on the basis that there was a violation of his constitutional rights, which basically was for him to appear before a competent court within a period of 48 hours. They delayed by three hours and the court rejected to participate in an illegal process.
“He’s free … If the state wants to try him they should send summons upon him on the same charge and then invite him to the High Court for trial but they cannot detain him in custody.
Asked if he was happy about the outcome of the court case, Nkomo said, "l don’t think that I am happy, we were not supposed to be here in the first place. If you look at the charge laid against him, totally nothing is incriminating."
The state claimed that his utterances in a video posted on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter undermined the sitting government as he attacked the ruling elite for causing economic problems faced by most Zimbabweans.
In similar charges laid against him following nationwide protests he masterminded in 2016 in conjunction with Tajamuka Sesijikile Campaign, the state claimed that Mawarire allegedly attempted to subvert a constitutionally-elected government and incite public violence by leading public protests and making stinging remarks about the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe through social media.
Zimbabweans are currently buying goods in bulk following reports that they are expected to be in short supply due to the deteriorating economic situation in the country.
Fuel shortages have hit some towns and cities amid reports of steep price increases.
The government has threatened to take stern measures against people allegedly spreading propaganda about price hikes and shortages of basic commodities.
On the 28 November 2017, Evan Mawarire was acquitted of all charges at the High Court. Mawarire had been facing charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutionally elected government of former President Robert Mugabe after he allegedly organised demonstrations against the government. The case was dismissed at the end of the State’s case.Pastor Evan Acquitted Of Attempting To Overthrow The Government
July 2018 ran for election to Ward 17 Harare Municipality as an independent. He gained 2173 votes, was beaten by Jacob Mapfume of MDC-Alliance with 4602 votes. Also ran were Abiyudi Chikandamarango of Zanu PF with 1915 votes and John Morris of ZDU with 72 votes.  
Pastor Evan Mawarire was lined up to carry out a presentation at the 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Switzerland on 20 February 2018. Mawarire was among some of the rights activists from across the world who was expected to speak at the Geneva Summit.
- What he wants
- What she wants
- Dream big and make it happen
- Elsa Buchanan, Zimbabwe: Who is Pastor Evan Mawarire, the man behind #ThisFlag subversive protest movement?, International Business Times, published: July 8, 2016, retrieved: July 12, 2016
- Richard Chidza, #ThisFlag protest rattles under-fire Mugabe henchmen, Standard, published: May 22, 2016, retrieved: July 14, 2016
- HIS LIBIDO - UNDERSTANDING YOUR "BOO'S" SEXUALITY, Phenomenal Woman Roundtable, published: October 29, 2015, retrieved: July 12, 2016
- Jonathan Moyo , Twitter, Published:8 May 2016, Retrieved:9 May 2016
- Richard Chidza, ‘Flag protest’ pastor receives death threats, NewsDay, Published:6 May 2016, Retrieved:9 May 2016
- , Evan Mawarire, Undenge Petition Post, Facebook, published: June 13, 2016, retrieved: June 22, 2016
- Zimbabwe high court releases pastor evan mawarire, , Published:27 September 2017 , Retrieved:29 September 2017
- [Election Notice, Electoral Act, Chap 2:13, Local Authority Elections 30 July 2018: Results of Poll], The Herald & Chronicle, Published: 30 August 2018
- , https://news.pindula.co.zw/2018/02/13/pastor-evan-to-speak-on-zims-human-rights-record-in-switzerland/ , Published: 13 Feb 2018 , Retrieved: 13 Feb 2013