Firebrand preacher, Evan Mawarire has scorned his critics who have often branded him a coward for skipping the country at the height of a State backlash on organisers of a wave of citizen protests that unsettled the government a year ago.
Pastor Mawarire went on to fire a salvo at his church colleagues who continued to turn a blind eye to the excesses of the current Zanu PF regime.
He was speaking during a panel discussion at Dr Ibbo Mandaza's SAPES Trust on Thursday, just under three days before he was picked up at his Harare church by police on Sunday under different circumstances.
During the discussions, Mawarire was accused of cowardice and hypocrisy by some members of the gallery for escaping the country for the US.
But he had answers for his critics, insisting he had no apologies for minding his safety and that of his family.
"If you look at the history of the struggle, there is no one who never gotten to a point of running away," Mawarire said.
"I for one will never ever make an apology for running away and taking my family to safety.
"It is important to make sure that they are safe. It is the core of my struggle for Zimbabwe."
The #ThisFlag founder said even his tormentor; President Robert Mugabe, at one time skipped the country during the liberation struggle.
This he said was also common with former Vice President Joshua Nkomo and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai have also fled for safer foreign territories before and under the Zanu PF government.
"It's not that we are scared, hypocrites or that we are cowards. It's tactical. You want to be alive and continue the struggle and that's what we did.
"The second thing is that I honoured my word and came back and faced the music.
"I don't care who you are; you can never fault me for that! I am facing what I need to face because I believe in what I believe in."
Mawarire had no kind words either for the local church he said has continued to draw back from anything that could invite State fury.
"The church itself should be accused of what it accuses the politicians of," he said of an institution he accused of being divided and corrupt.
"The church must clean itself up.
"As young people in churches, we have an opportunity to be cleaner, to be united across denominations and across beliefs.
"The one thing that we all believe in is that God Himself is a God of social justice and in Zimbabwe, that has been violated and so as young people who believe in the values and principles of the bible and God, we should stand up for those.
"We should refuse corruption, we should refuse the incarceration of people that have not committed crimes, we should refuse the capture of our own station and the subversion of the will of the people in Zimbabwe."