London – The founder of the #ThisFlag movement, Pastor Evan Mawarire, has hit back at his critics over his self-imposed United States (US) exile, saying that it was the only way to stay alive and continue his fight for a better Zimbabwe, a report said on Tuesday.
According to New Zimbabwe, Mawarire believed that too many people who had been fighting against President Robert Mugabe’s regime had already died in the country. As a result, he did not want to become another "hero".
The 39-year-old cleric apologised for his decision, but insisted that he made his decision after being warned by government officials on a number of occasions.
Mawarire further claimed that he feared for his life and that of his family.
"Right now I am terrified for my life and lives of my family. We have lost enough people in Zimbabwe. I don’t want to be another martyr. I want to help rebuild my country," Mawarire was quoted as saying.
Recent reports indicated that Mawarire was travelling to the US to meet compatriots and consider his next move.
Pastor Mawarire is off to the US? He's abandoned #ThisFlag already? This is what happens when you create heroes when the war is not yet won— Sebenzile Nkambule (@SebeNkambule) August 15, 2016
Meanwhile, some of his supporters defended him saying that he had shown many Zimbabweans how to speak up, thus it was up to them to continue the fight.
— Lance Guma (@LanceGuma) August 14, 2016