Cape Town – Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire, the leader of the #ThisAfrica movement that organised recent protests calling for a change of government, has said that vying for the presidency would be something that he would consider "properly, without just being excited about it".
Mawarire was answering a question by News24 on how he would respond if a coalition movement made up of Zimbabweans requested that he ran for presidency in 2018.
"It would be a huge, huge responsibility that I would consider properly, without just being excited about it... Whilst it would be a huge honour, personally I would have to have a conviction about a campaign like that. My skills as an ordinary Zimbabwean may not be fit for the job or may not be fit for the purpose of the office," said Mawarire.
He said there would have to be "an honest audit of my abilities in an office of that magnitude".
Mawarire, a speaker and author of books on sex and marriage, has so far steered clear of declaring any political affiliation.
The pastor emerged as a "national hero" in recent weeks after starting his #Thisflag campaign, which rapidly became an unlikely outlet for many Zimbabweans.
Two days after Mugabe recited a list of his achievements at a rally in April, Mawarire posted a video of himself on Facebook, venting against state corruption and the government's failure to provide basic services.
The video, in which Mawarire was wearing a Zimbabwean flag, became a huge hit and spawned a wave of internet activism in a country where any expression of protest can be dangerous.
The activism subsequently turned into a nationwide strike after Zimbabweans heeded to his call for a stayaway.