Pro-Democracy Activist Evan Mawarire on Zimbabwe’s Deepening Crisis

Pro-Democracy Activist Evan Mawarire on Zimbabwe’s Deepening Crisis
Zimbabwean pastor and activist Evan Mawarire talks to the press soon after his release from Chikurubi prison on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan. 30, 2019 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

When the late Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017, celebrations broke out across the country as people cheered the end of his 37-year grip on power. Among them was Evan Mawarire, a pastor and pro-democracy activist who has been imprisoned and tortured for demanding political reforms and an end to rampant corruption and poverty.

But the hopes of Mawarire and his fellow Zimbabweans were quickly dashed, as the country’s crisis only deepened under Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa. His government has brutally suppressed popular demonstrations, while subjecting dissidents and journalists to the threat of harassment, arbitrary detention and torture. The economic situation is also dire, with the World Bank recently reporting that half of Zimbabweans have fallen into extreme poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week on Trend Lines, Mawarire joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss the failed promises of Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe and what’s next for the country’s pro-democracy movement. Mawarire is a 2020 Yale World Fellow and you can follow him on Twitter at @PastorEvanLive. If you would like to request a full transcript of the episode, please send an email to Click here to read a partial transcript of the interview.


Download: MP3

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Under Cover of COVID-19, Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa Cracks Down on Dissent
Zimbabwe’s Old Guard, Still in Power After Mugabe, Is Stifling Its Youth
Two Years After Mugabe’s Fall, Zimbabwe Returns to the Abyss
Zimbabwe’s Move to Compensate White Farmers May Antagonize Everyone

Trend Lines is edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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