Pastor Evan Mawarire might end up floating along in the Diaspora like so many other Zimbabweans, nursing his hope that one day things will change, that one day he can go home and help to rebuild his country. Every day of his time away he will yearn for the sights, sounds, smells and culture of his homeland. The accidental hero who started the #ThisFlag movement when he spoke into a camera over his concerns for what the Flag of his country should mean and what it translates to in real life, may not be able to return to help further the social movement for change in the Mugabe Regime
Millions in the Diaspora.
There are millions of Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora, many of them for political reasons, many in fear of the Mugabe Regime and many more due to the lack of jobs and are essentially economic refugees.
Hundreds of thousands of them are poor people struggling to survive in menial jobs in a hostile environment in South #Africa, where xenophobia has seen tragic acts inflicted upon them.
The better educated and those with the means to leave Zimbabwe are to be found in almost every country on the planet.Many of them have been forced to take out foreign citizenship as the citizenship act has been kicked from post to post many times. The steady flow of those who have left the country include lawyers, businessmen, media experts, engineers and more and the intellectual export of them has been termed one of the major exports of the country in recent years.
Amnesty International say going home would be dangerous.
Pastor Evan has repeatedly said that he will return home, but following his release from a court where the State prosecution was trying him on treasonable charges, President Mugabe unleashed his fury on the Pastor at a funeral. Since then, his followers, mainly within the ZANU (PF) youth, have threatened to "deal" with the Pastor. In Zimbabwe like Itai Dzamara, an activist abducted by armed men 16 months ago - "dealing" can mean death.
VOA reported that Amnesty International has stated that Pastor Evan Mawarire’s life is in danger and a premature return to Zimbabwe would be dangerous for him.
His family has now joined him, but even in South Africa, it appears he is not beyond the reach of radical Mugabe supporters. In a recent video he mentioned how much he wants to go home. When he first left Zimbabwe, no doubt, at the time, he thought he would be able to return. The family man would surely never have abandoned his close-knit family if he had believed otherwise.
This Flag and other movements continue the internal struggle.
The #ThisFlag movement and others such as Tajamuka have continued in his absence, and a leadership of sorts is starting to emerge in the Quiet Revolution movement. Repeatedly, they point out to disappointed #ThisFlag followers that the movement for change is not based on a single personality, and that #ThisFlag can still achieve their objectives no matter where the Pastor is. After all, despite his natural magnetism, his brilliant way of speaking and his bright, honest face, he never asked to be placed in a position of leadership. The Zimbabweans who want change are also well aware that the personality cult surrounding President Mugabe probably took the failing state to where it stands today. Others remind their compatriots that Mugabe himself fought for the freedom of Zimbabwe from exile.
Pressure from outside the country.
The movement is not just being fought on the ground. Whilst it is dangerous to and heroic of the Tajamuka and #This Flag members to operate on the ground to push for change, the Zimbabweans in the Diaspora send money back home and are doing as much as they can to put pressure on their adoptive governments and on the Zimbabwe #Government by holding vigils, rallies and through citizen journalism. Evan Mawarire might end up as one more voice in the crowd who just want to go home – albeit, an influential one.