Mugabe speaks out against #ThisFlag pastor Evan Mawarire

Story highlights

  • Evan Mawarire called for change draped in the national flag
  • Zimbabweans stayed home to protest country's economic woes

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN)President Robert Mugabe has spoken out against the pastor responsible for kickstarting Zimbabwe's #ThisFlag protest movement.

Mugabe criticized Pastor Evan Mawarire accusing him of being "foreign sponsored," and called on him to leave the country.
    The 92-year-old was speaking at a gathering of mourners at the funeral of Charles Utete, a senior government official who died Friday.
      He said the protests were not part of Zimbabwean culture.
      "That way of living is not in our country, it's not part of us, let them go to those who are sponsoring them," Mugabe said.
      "You can't urge people to adopt...violent demonstrations as a way of solving grievances," he added.
        Mugabe also branded Pastor Evan a fake and asked the crowd to "beware of these men of the cloth."
        "Not all of them are true preachers of the Bible," he added.

        A viral movement

        Mawarire's #ThisFlag has gained momentum among Zimbabweans who have followed him on social media as he called on Mugabe's government to address a failing economy and respect human rights.