Thousands of Zimbabweans participating in the current protests against President Robert Mugabe’s regime say they feel betrayed by the mastermind of #ThisFlag protests, evangelist Evan Mawarire, who has refused to return from the U.S., according to News24.
Mawarire escaped to the U.S. a month ago after Mugabe’s administration took him to court for spearheading anti-government protests across Zimbabwe, through which protestors have been calling for 92-year-old president Robert Mugabe to resign.
According to News24, some protesters say they feel betrayed by Mawarire’s failure to return to Zimbabwe, where he is facing treason charges.
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Rumors are rife that evangelist Mawarire could be planning to settle in the U.S., although he has not yet confirmed it.
On Twitter, some Zimbabweans are accusing the cleric of obtaining money from the U.S. to destabilize the country.
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) August 13, 2016
However, many still believe in Mawarire’s cause and are determined to push it to the end.
— Nyasha Musandu (@NMusandu) August 11, 2016
Mugabe’s Rude Awakening
Even as a section of Zimbabwe accuses Evangelist Mawarire of betrayal, Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders have joined in the fray, calling for President Mugabe to retire.
On Saturday, Zimbabwean opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and former deputy president Joice Mujuru led a mass rally in Gweru, Zimbabwe, where they condemned Mugabe’s decades-long reign and called for opposition parties to unite.
“The reason we are here is because we need a collective consensus of all Zimbabweans to make sure that Mugabe listens to the voice of the people,” Tsvangirai said.
Three weeks ago, key supporters of President Mugabe, including veterans who had fought for Zimbabwe’s independence, withdrew their support for Mugabe and asked him to retire.
The ongoing protests in Zimbabwe were sparked by the government’s decision to delay salaries of civil servants as the country struggles to reverse one of its worst economic crises.
Mugabe has been the President of Zimbabwe since December 1987.