Zimbabwe

Zim protest pastor who fled into exile welcomes new baby

2016-11-18 10:10
Evan Mawarire. (File: AP)

Evan Mawarire. (File: AP)

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Harare - Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag protest pastor Evan Mawarire has a new daughter, he said on Twitter Thursday in an announcement that may make his decision to take his family into exile four months ago more understandable.

"Samantha & I are pleased to welcome our new born daughter. She is a blessing to us. Whatever you do in life always fight for your family," Mawarire tweeted.

See his tweet below: 

Launched online in April, Mawarire's #ThisFlag movement against state corruption and poverty rattled longtime president Robert Mugabe and his government to an extent not seen for years. 

In a short time, the 39-year-old pastor managed to inspire Zimbabweans to speak up and take action, notably in supporting a mass stayaway in July. But Mawarire was arrested soon afterwards and faced serious charges. He spent a night in custody, was released after a day in court to huge celebrations - and then left almost immediately for South Africa and the US, taking his family with him.

It is likely that the baby was born in the US, though that has not been confirmed.

Mawarire posted a photo of himself holding a newborn on his verified Twitter account. His shirt was emblazoned with the word Zimbabwe.

He already had two young children when he launched #ThisFlag: in fact, he has previously said that he made his first protest video out of frustration when he could not find the money for school fees. It was not widely known that his wife was expecting another child. 

The pastor has come in for some criticism for "abandoning" the movement when he did, however necessary it was for his and his family's safety. 

Some Zimbabweans immediately took to Twitter to offer their congratulations.

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