Firebrand #ThisFlag activist Pastor Evan Mawarire, an exiled preacher who shook President Robert Mugabe’s regime and sparked a series of protests in Zimbabwe will today address students at Harvard University in the United States of America.
Mawarire, leader of #ThisFlag campaign, who fled Zimbabwe in August after leading demonstrations for economic and political reforms in Washington DC, will be seeking to strike a right chord with the students at the world’s most prestigious university.
“Please join us for a discussion with Evan Mawarire of the #This Flag movement in Zimbabwe examining the protests that swept across the nation and diaspora, calling for economic reforms, restoration of basic services and an end to government repression,” reads the tweet.
Mawarire took his campaign to the diaspora following his release when the state charged him with inciting public violence in a historic court case that drew thousands, sending a message to the Zanu PF regime that the people of Zimbabwe would not be hoodwinked by mere talk.
A campaign that began from social media, landed on the streets with a successful stay away on July 16 that unleashed the monster in the state agents, brutally beating citizens engaging in peaceful demonstrations.
Hundreds of activists were jailed in horrendous conditions, without proper health care and food, but the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) intervened managing to release all protesters.
Mawarire’s #This Flag gave birth to several movements like #Tajamuka that have been instrumental in demanding economic and electoral reforms although the state apparatus has continued to stifle the voice of the citizens through unprecedented demo bans.
“Humbled and excited to speak on Zim & This Flag Harvard University Law School,” reads Mawarire’s tweet.
Back home there is divided opinion about Mawarire who many think abandoned the struggle as witnessed by the failure of protest leaders like Patson Dzamara, Stan Zvorwadza, Linda Masarira and Advocate Fadzai Mahere in Zimbabwe to stage demonstrations.
Dzamara brother to Itai was left for dead last week when suspected CIO operatives ambushed him on his way from Mufakose where he had gone to pick up other protesters in preparation of last week’s failed demo.
Zimbabweans think Mawarire sold a dummy and like many opportunists used the people to get asylum, but many are of the opinion that the firebrand Pastor began a movement that will lead to a new Zimbabwe.
Last month Mawarire was denied a visa to the UK under unclear circumstances where he was scheduled to speak and garner the diaspora support, but the Zanu PF government has vowed that it will not reform itself out of power.
This has been witnessed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) refusal to relinquish former army personnel from the commission and facilitating the diaspora vote.
Although his home support seems to be waning, Mawarire is determined to take his fight to the world