Zimbabweans refuse to help police identify protestors

14 January, 2019, 19:56 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mnangagwa's government has struggled to live up to its pre-election pledges of resuscitating the economy.

Shops and banks pulled down their shutters in downtown Harare as riot police patrolled the streets and a military helicopter flew over the capital.

14, 2019. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has more than doubled the price of gasoline, hoping the increase will end severe shortages that are fueling public anger even as he departs on a foreign trip to Russian Federation and other countries in search of investment.

"We have suffered enough", he told AFP, describing the government's decision as "stupid".

After years of global isolation, Zimbabwe's economy has been in decline for more than a decade with cash shortages, high unemployment and a recent scarcity of basic staples like bread and cooking oil.

Diesel cost $1.38 and petrol $1.43 a litre before Mnangagwa announced the new price increases.

Reuters reported on Monday that the drastic 150% overnight rise in Zimbabwe's fuel prices failed on Sunday to ease a nationwide petrol and diesel shortage caused by a lack of hard currency.

The government meanwhile accused the strike organisers of pushing a political "regime change" agenda and of "subversive political activities".

Zimbabwe soldiers are placed where police are clashing with protestors over fuel hikes in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

"It has become obvious that there is deliberate plan to undermine and challenge the prevailing constitutional order", said government spokesman Nick Mangwana in a statement late Sunday night.

Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said: "We have a national crisis which is descending into a humanitarian crisis".

"We want Mnangagwa to know our displeasure in his failure", said another Bulawayo protester, Mthandazo Moyo, 22.

Social media went into overdrive with "Bring back Mugabe" memes after the president's announcement.

Although this will most certainly have an adverse effect on the way businesses respond to this, Mngangagwa, according to My Zimbabwe News, assured his people that the increase would not see price hikes in the retail environment.

Government doctors went on a 40-day strike in early December, demanding salaries in USA dollars and improved working conditions, while teachers' unions called a strike this week for better pay but their calls went largely unheeded. They also called for improved work conditions. Minister Mutodi also warned the Zimbabweans not engage in the planned #ShutdownZimbabwe protests that have been called by Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, #ThisFlag and other civic organizations.

He claimed that some Zimbabweans were taking advantage of the fuel crisis in the country to cause instability.

"The government is now aware that we are not happy with their stupid policies like the fuel price increase".

Mnangagwa is now in Moscow, Russia, as part of a tour of Eastern Europe where he hopes to solicit investors and strike deals in a bid to help Zimbabwe's ailing economy.

Many people directed their anger at President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power after Mugabe was forced to resign but has not delivered on promises to revive the economy.

Mnangagwa is now on a visit to Russian Federation and is planning to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week to try to drum up global investment.



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