A Conversation with Pastor Evan Mawarire

On Wednesday, August 17, the Africa Center hosted Pastor Evan Mawarire, founder of the #ThisFlag campaign, a mass movement of Zimbabwean citizens demanding government reform. In April 2016, Mawarire, a previously unknown Zimbabwean pastor, inadvertently launched the #ThisFlag movement to call the government to account for corruption, injustice, and poverty. Mawarire’s campaign has sparked an unprecedented surge in citizen activism amid rising social discontent, leading to a spate of protests across the country. This event marked the first time Mawarire has spoken publically in Washington, DC.  

Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham introduced Mawarire and Africa Center visiting fellow Chloë McGrath. Following Mawarire’s remarks, McGrath moderated the discussion.  

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Mawarire’s remarks focused on the goals and significance of the #ThisFlag campaign and the next steps necessary to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for Zimbabwe.

He concluded that “we want the world to know that we have discovered that we are the heroes that we have been waiting for […] If we cannot cause the politicians to change, then we must inspire the citizens to revolt and to be bold.”

The event was webcast by the Atlantic Council, CSPAN, and livestreamed across Zimbabwe. 

Watch a full recording of the event here.