President Robert Mugabe has warned social media movement leader Pastor Evan Mawarire, the man behind a recent spate of violent protests in the country, and like-minded people that the government would not condone any attempt to destabilize the country.

Mawarire has in the past few weeks called for "shutdowns" aimed at crippling government operations as part of demonstrations against alleged failure by the authorities to address economic challenges facing the country. The protests have, however, been largely unsuccessful.

Addressing thousands of war veterans gathered at the headquarters of the ruling Zanu PF party here Wednesday to show solidarity with him, President Mugabe said promoting instability would not be tolerated.

"And I want to warn the likes of Mawarire and like-minded people, I want to warn them very strongly Zanu Pf will not tolerate any nonsense, any nonsense that is done in the name of religion," he said.

"So keep to your religious side and we will respect you, once you begin to interfere with our politics you are courting trouble, you are courting real trouble, we know how to deal with our enemies who have been trying all along to bring about regime change in the country.

"We have the means to defend and protect our hard won freedom, that's crucial to us. We have brought unity, unity to the country and the people are united, please don't disunite our


Mawarire was arrested following the protests on charges of inciting public violence but was released after the defence opposed attempts by the State to alter the charges in court without notifying him beforehand.

The Baptist Church pastor has since fled Zimbabwe to neighbouring South Africa claiming that his safety was not guaranteed, although no threat on his life or freedom had been made.

President Mugabe also warned foreign embassies in Zimbabwe to steer clear of Zimbabwean politics and to stick to their mandate.

His warning comes after revelations that the French Embassy in Harare was involved in sponsoring anti-government protests that were witnessed in the country recently.

"I want to warn them to desist from it, there are rules that govern them, don't allow them to interfere with our politics to try to subvert our system of government and to do things that amount to subverting the present government and its authority please stop it," he said.

President Mugabe said only the people of Zimbabwe had the right to remove him from power as he and his party Zanu PF were governing the country through a mandate given to them by the people.

He said no amount of external intimidation or pressure would remove him from power except the people of Zimbabwe.

"I am created as President by the people, the people of Zimbabwe. I have always been, whether acting as President now as I am doing or yesterday in the party as secretary general, as publicity secretary, I have always been a product either of my party earlier on and later on

both of my party and my government," he said.

President Mugabe declared that he was still well and strong thus still capable of leading the country.