'We say no, forever no' - Mugabe blasts protest pastor

2016-07-19 14:46
Pastor Evan Mawarire (File, AFP)

Pastor Evan Mawarire (File, AFP)

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Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says a popular pastor who led calls for strikes this month was fomenting violence, and was not "part of us".

Speaking at a funeral on Tuesday in Harare, Mugabe said: "You can't urge people to adopt violence... violent demonstrations as a way of life or a way of solving grievances." 

"Mawarire, I don't even know him," Mugabe added in reference to Evan Mawarire, who is leading a widely-supported online protest movement using the hashtag #ThisFlag. 

"Those who believe in that way of living in our country... are not part of us," Mugabe added. "We say no, forever no."

The 92-year-old president, who was re-elected to power three years ago, said: "A man of religion, we would hope would preach biblical peace."

But Mawarire, 39, insists all protests must be peaceful. He was arrested last week, but freed a day later when a magistrate ruled that his constitutional rights had been violated. He has been in South Africa this week.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  evan mawarire  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe protests  |  southern africa
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