A LOCAL cleric, who days after Independence Day celebrations posted a protest rant that concentrated on the national flag depicting government failure, has been threatened with death, NewsDay can reveal.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Evan Mawarire (39), who has become an instant social media hit with #thisFlag attracting over 17 000 hits to his videos, told NewsDay on Wednesday that unknown people had threatened him.
“After I posted the first video on social media and the massive response it has received, there have been negative comments of course.
Some people have said I am wasting my time, dicing with death or, worse still, asked what would happen after this. However, the scariest of these was a phone call I received from an unidentified number.
“The person at the other end of the line told me they would strangle me using the flag,” Mawarire said.
In one of the videos, Mawarire says he feels Zimbabwe has become a stumbling block to his dreams and ambitions, but finds success when he travels abroad.
According to Mawarire, the man at the other end of the line said: “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 confirmed he was now living in fear due to the threats.
“I would not lie to you and say I am not afraid.
“This is something I have never done before and in Zimbabwe stories go around about what has happened to people who have spoken out.
“I am definitely afraid. But for me the resolve to be an unrepentant citizen of good standing is bigger than the fear to be quiet. I can no longer justify silence in the current situation,” the cleric said.
“To be quiet will be a travesty of justice. I would be selling out the future of my children. I am not insulting or inciting. The fear is there and it builds up. When those around you come and tell you to slow down, it becomes scary.”