Sunday 17 February 2019

'New leaders are just like Mugabe', says activist pastor as crackdown continues on Zimbabwe protests

Evan Mawarire speaks to reporters outside the court. Photo: Philimon Bulawayo
Evan Mawarire speaks to reporters outside the court. Photo: Philimon Bulawayo

Farai Mutsaka

A Zimbabwean activist facing subversion charges has accused the government of acting like deposed former leader Robert Mugabe.

Pastor Evan Mawarire, who could be jailed for up to 20 years, said the situation in his country was "heartbreaking".

Alarm is growing about a violent crackdown on people protesting against a dramatic rise in fuel prices.

"We thought we had a new country and a new way of doing things," said Mr Mawarire as he arrived at court in Harare. "None of what I am being accused of is what I have done at all."

When asked how police were treating him, he replied: "Not very good. I could be better."

Mr Mawarire is one of more than 600 people arrested this week in the worst unrest since the post-election violence in August.

Fuel in the economically shattered country is now the world's most expensive.

Irish Independent

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