Zimbabwe’s Government has warned protesters they will face the “full wrath of the law” if they heed a call by a detained preacher to continue with the biggest demonstrations in a decade against President Robert Mugabe.
Baptist minister Evan Mawarire has become a household name in Zimbabwe since he started a social media campaign in April that has tapped into mounting public anger over corruption, high unemployment and economic woes.
He will appear in court on Wednesday morning.
In a video recorded before his arrest today, Mawarire urged supporters to go ahead with further “stay at home” demonstrations.
He had called for a one-day protest last week which closed businesses across the southern African nation in the biggest strike since 2005.
“The police whose mandate is to protect life and property will be out in full force to deal with any disturbances that may arise,” Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo told reporters.
1 President Robert Mugabe is Africa’s oldest leader at 92
2 He has led Zimbabwe, a former British colony, since independence in 1980
3 It was once one of the continent’s most promising economies
4 Now it is a country mired in economic crisis with a reputation for rights abuses
After initially ignoring Mawarire’s grainy online videos, shot on a mobile phone and calling for mass protests, Mugabe’s Administration has started to push back, especially after they attracted support from thousands of unpaid civil servants.