In Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe, an ‘Unprecedented’ Crisis That Worsens by the Day

In Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe, an ‘Unprecedented’ Crisis That Worsens by the Day
Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan. 21, 2021 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

One day in April 2016, the Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire was sitting in his office, frustrated at the persistent economic crisis in his country that was making it difficult to provide for his family. So, he decided to vent. He took out his phone, propped it up against the Bible on his desk, and recorded a video in which he spoke about the symbolism of the Zimbabwean national flag, and how the promises of freedom and prosperity that it symbolizes had been violated by the regime of then-President Robert Mugabe. The video quickly went viral, inspiring a hashtag, #ThisFlag, and massive pro-democracy demonstrations. Mawarire was arrested and imprisoned for his activism.

A year and a half later, Mugabe had resigned, forced out by the military. Hopes were high that the country had turned a corner, but conditions have only worsened under Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the continued rule of the ZANU-PF party. This week on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman speaks with Evan Mawarire about the struggle for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe, and why he is hopeful for the country’s future despite the long odds for change.

Listen to the full interview with Evan Mawarire here:

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review