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'I haven't been arrested': Zim pastor denies detention rumours

08 July 2016, 11:46News24 Correspondent

Harare - "I just want to let you know that I'm OK."

Those were the words of prominent Zimbabwe pastor Evan Mawarire following rumours that he'd been taken in by police in the wake of a nationwide shutdown on Wednesday.

Mawarire, who began his #ThisFlag movement more than two months ago, was one of the main activists supporting the calls for the shutdown. He has said that "threats are there" against him. 

The official Herald newspaper on Friday named Mawarire as one of "the people who might find themselves in trouble" for allegedly trying to cause an uprising.

A father of two, who runs a modest church in Harare, Mawarire was known before #ThisFlag as the author of books on sex and marriage and an energetic MC who even spoke at the wedding of Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo's daughter last year.

Wave of frustration and hope 

He says he was galvanised into recording his first video by his difficulties in raising school fees for his children. Since then, his clips have garnered tens of thousands of views. He's being seen by many as the face of Zimbabwe's current wave of frustration and hope.

In the latest clip posted to Facebook on Thursday evening, Mawarire said he was at home.

"I haven't been arrested," He wrote.

Mawarire referred to as yet unverified claims that two activists from the anti-government Tajamuka group were arrested earlier in the day. 

The government of President Robert Mugabe, 92, appears to have been shaken by the success in Zimbabwe's urban areas of Wedesday's strike. It was largely motivated by government corruption, cash shortages, an import ban and police heavy handedness, especially at roadblocks. 

The authorities have tried to calm anger over the import ban by saying that individuals are allowed to import very limited amounts of restricted goods for family use.

- News24


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