Zimbabwe pastor charged with attempting to overthrow government
Evan Mawarire, 39, is accused of setting up a campaign with the aim of “overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means,” according to the charge sheet.
He appeared at Harare magistrates’ court with a national flag tied around his neck while about 150 young supporters sang and chanted outside.
Mawarire, who started the popular ThisFlag internet campaign in April, was an organiser of a one-day nationwide strike last week that closed offices, shops, schools and some government departments.
Asked by magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe if he understood the charges against him, he said: “I have understood, your worship.”
A recent series of demonstrations, the largest in years, have been driven by an economic crisis in Zimbabwe that has left banks short of cash and the government struggling to pay its workers.
Veteran President Robert Mugabe, 92, has previously used security forces to crack down on any public show of dissent, and riot police were on duty outside the court.