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Mugabe accuses protest leader of getting foreign support


Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe . / AFP / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe . / AFP / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has accused a pastor who organised a nationwide strike against the government of being sponsored by foreign countries allegedly trying to destabilise his administration.

It was the first time President Robert Mugabe had mentioned Evan Mawarire publicly by name.

Mawarire last week was briefly arrested and charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government before being freed by a court in the capital, Harare. Hundreds of cheering supporters greeted his release.

His calls on social media for a boycott earlier this month drew a strong response from people frustrated by Zimbabwe’s deepening economic problems.

Mawarire arrested ahead of the strike.

The 92-year-old Mugabe accused the pastor of urging Zimbabweans to engage in violent protests, questioning whether he was a “true preacher”.

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