Harare (Agenzia Fides) - The leader of popular protests in Zimbabwe has been charged with inciting public disorder as authorities move to break up a wave of opposition in the unstable southern African state. Evan Mawarire, a Baptist pastor, was arrested today, July 12.
On July 6, Mawarire’s movement called - #ThisFlag urged the population to a general strike to protest the lack of public services, high unemployment rate (85%), rampant corruption and delays in the payment of public wages.
The presence of the hashtag (#) in the movement’s symbol is indicative of the fact that it basis its campaign on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
Other protest movements against President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, were born recently in social media, such as Tajamuka ( "we refuse", in Shona language) which organized several demonstrations last month.
The economic conditions in Zimbabwe, once a prosperous Country, has worsened in the last decade especially since Mugabe confiscated lands belonging to the descendants of European settlers to assign them to their supporters with patronage criteria, with the consequent collapse of production.
Drought in the region has exacerbated the economic difficulties while corruption appears out of control, with police establishing illegal checkpoints only in order to extort money from passers-by and motorists.
Finally from a financial point of view the country has experienced high inflation rates for years. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/07/2016)