HARARE – Founder of #ThisFlag campaign — a social media movement that has shaken government to the core — has moved a gear up by setting up citizen task forces to fight corruption, poverty and injustice — which many trace to the governing party Zanu PF.
Evan Mawarire the man behind #ThisFlag, said since most people have spoken and demonstrated their patriotism it is now time to take action, so as to pressure government into taking action.
“What we are doing now is activating citizen activists, to identify corruption, injustice and poverty and report it. In cases of extreme poverty, we will also try and help,” Mawarire told the Daily News.
Mawarire, a pastor, led a 25-day movement from May 1 to May 25, where citizens, spoke up against the ills and failures of government on cyberspace.
The pastor uploaded videos where he would talk about how the health, justice, financial and infrastructure systems had crumbled due to government failure and corrupt activities, with a tagline hatichada and hatichatya (we are fed up and we don’t fear anymore).
“The videos will continue but now we are going on the ground and in communities so that we deal with the corruption and injustice.
“We have had revelations of corruption at the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), involving the minister (Samuel Undenge) together with managers at ZETDC and nothing has happened, those people should not be there,” said Mawarire.
In an earlier interview with the paper, Mawarire said May 25 was not the end of the campaign but the beginning.
“The movement has achieved what we set out to do right now, the 25th is not when it ends, it is when it starts. This whole exercise is an exercise by citizens to teach our leaders that we can speak and we must speak and never stop speaking.”
But he said there will not be demonstrations on the streets.
“While my heart might want to give in to calls for street protests, I think I am guided by certain principles that include the sanctity of life. I don’t want people to get hurt. I know what this government can do and they are waiting for people to demonstrate.
“What we are doing is working, government is jumping around right now, and it has worked,” said Mawarire.