Zimbabwean police arrested prominent protest pastor and anti-government campaigner Evan Mawarire on Monday after he spoke to a group of striking medical students, his family and lawyer said.

Mawarire, who last year led a mass anti-government movement dubbed “#ThisFlag” after he appeared on social media draped in the national colours, was arrested at the University of Zimbabwe, his sister Teldah Mawarire told AFP.

Mawarire’s Lawyer Harrison Nkomo, also confirmed that that Mawarire had been charged with “disorderly conduct in a public place.

Mawarire had earlier posted a video clip of his arrest on social media saying it was linked to his speech to students.

Scores of placard-wielding students assembled at the main student union building to protest fee increases.

Allister Pfunde, president of the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union told AFP that the students are holding a peaceful protest against the decision to increase their fees two weeks before they sit for their examinations.

The university accused the students of throwing stones and responded by ordering all medical students out of their university halls of residence.

Mawarire’s anti-government movement shut down major cities and paralysed public transport and prompted the government to ban public protests.

He was arrested and charged with “attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government” though he has yet to face trial over those charges.


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