Zimbabwe police armed with AK-47 rifles Wednesday morning arrested Evan Mawarire, an activist and pastor, from his home in Harare. He was clutching a Bible when police bundled him into their car.
Mawarire in 2016 organized the ThisFlag campaign that sparked a string of nationwide anti-government protests.
Mawarire was arrested Wednesday for allegedly inciting violence in the protests against the government’s increase in fuel prices. Several people were killed Monday when the military moved in the capital to quell the protests and opened fire on crowds of people.
Beatrice Mtetwa, Mawarire’s lawyer, said: “They are alleging that he incited violence through Twitter and other forms of social media in the central business district.”
Streets are deserted in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Wednesday as a general strike continues for a third day to protest the government’s decision to more than double the price of fuel.
Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms company, Econet, has sent text messages to customers saying it has been forced by the government to shut down internet service. “The matter is beyond our control,” said the statement.