Ordinary Zimbabweans from across the globe have been united by #ThisFlag campaign which is currently trending on social media.
Social media fury – hype even – might be just what Zimbabweans needs to adequately air out their views. Social media is overwhelmingly extending interactions beyond physical limits.
Over the past few weeks, social media has been awash with a campaign code-named #ThisFlag which many, including its founder, Evan Mawarire, insist is a wake-up call on all government ministers to stop corruption and ill-treating citizens.
Founded by Pastor Evan Mawarire, of His Generation Church, the campaign has attracted worldwide campaign with some respected diplomats chipping in to share their views.
The Church in Zimbabwe, which has been accused of sympathising with the power bloc has seemingly started fighting injustices and rights abuses.
Pastor Evan, who has repeatedly refuted claims that he is an activist, said the campaign started after he failed to raise school fees for his children.
“I felt like my own country had stood in the way of my dreams. Like it has become a stumbling block to the things I would want to achieve. I go outside the country I have a lot of success, and on my return, things fall apart. I looked at the flag and felt like what the flag represents and the state of the country, are worlds apart,” said Pastor Evan in an interview with 263Chat.
According Pastor Evan, the campaign, seeks to challenge politicians to stop corruption and start taking action by not neglecting citizens.
It also seeks to tickle the nerves of ordinary citizens by challenging them to stand up for their rights.
Over the years, the church has played a role in national politics. In the Christian Religion, the relationship between Church and state can be traced to the Old Testament. The prophets often acted as the finger of God challenging the state leaders, these included Prophets Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah, among others. These prophets challenged the rulers whenever they departed from the will of God for the people of Israel. In the New Testament, we find Jesus always at cross roads with some authorities and his death was judicial.
In an interview on ZiFM last night, Pastor Evan said he remains defiant even though the tide is against him. He said he is not going to rest until the people of Zimbabwe have bread and butter on their tables.
Below are some of the tweets in support of the #ThisFlag campaign
Pastor Evan Mawarire…… what a trail blazer with #ThisFlag. A new type of activist who is social media-savvy.
— Lance Guma (@LanceGuma) May 17, 2016
Hon @SupaCollinsM @TrevorNcube it will be good to get the after show clip in full as well #ThisFlag @PastorEvanLive pic.twitter.com/8tT2Pigxab
— #ThisFlag (@ottosaki) May 17, 2016
A clear illustration between #ThisFlag and their #OurFlag pic.twitter.com/NVlMW0cM1X
— Say No to Bond Notes (@maDube_) May 17, 2016
Opposition parties in the country have embraced the gesture by Pastor Evan saying it is high time the church takes a centre stage in overthrowing the failed Mugabe regime.
Jacob Mafume, People’s Democrats Party (PDP) spokesperson said, “We are chuffed by the bravery shown by the clergyman in his quest to fight a system that is filled with poor governance.
“It is high time that the church comes to the rescue of the nation, so as the opposition, we are fully behind this initiative and we are joining the campaign,” said Mafume
Asked to comment on the issue, Zanu-PF National spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo could not shed more light as he said he was not aware of this campaign.
Meanwhile, Higher and Tertiary Education, Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has condemned the campaign.
Writing via his twitter account Professor Moyo said the campaign is a western sponsored campaign.
Chiflag ichi nechiflag icho chinonzi #ThisFlag or #ThatFlag can be any flag & HUGE to @harrykthomasjr1 in cyberspace but not in communities!
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) May 17, 2016
#OurFlag. The people will use it to defend #Zimbabwe‘s sovereignty at all times & no matter what. #OurFlag! https://t.co/EfURSIk8nJ
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) May 16, 2016