South Africa and Zimbabwe engages on Western sponsored protests

Hugh Fox
January 16, 2019

"The Zimbabwe government should immediately restore internet and social media access", Mavhinga said.

A man protesting outside the embassy in Pretoria told News24 of the tough conditions his family was facing.

"Resolving Zimbabwe's economic challenges is a monumental task".

The government over the weekend announced a price of $3.11 per liter (0.26 gallons) for diesel, and $3.33 per liter for gasoline.

Zimbabwe security forces have been accused of killing at least five people and wounding 25 others during a crackdown on nationwide protests over a massive petrol price increase.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said 13 people had sustained gunshot wounds in and around Harare on Monday.

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Citizens, activists and opposition political parties blasted the government for being insensitive to the plight of the common man.

Businesses closed early and schools called parents to pick their children, fearing violence.

He said during the protests, locals burned a police station, barricaded roads with large rocks, and looted shops in Harare, Kadoma, and Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe is suffering through a severe economic downturn marked by high inflation, a shortage of many basic goods and a shortage of foreign currency that many Zimbabweans use to conduct transactions. Unsurprisingly, Econet said that it had been instructed to cut off internet service by a warrant from the Minister of State in the President's Office for State Security, Owen Muda Ncube.

Following hyperinflation in 2009, Zimbabwe abolished its own currency and has been using the U.S. dollar and South African rand instead.

With US dollar notes scarce, Zimbabweans are forced to withdraw "bond notes" - supposedly equal to US dollars but worth far less in reality.

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The government's tactics "will serve to worsen the current crisis in the country while further alienating the country from the global community", it said.

Mnangagwa also warned the government would deal harshly with those "bent on taking advantage of the current fuel shortages to cause and sponsor unrest and instability in the country".

"People are protesting now that things are hurting".

Police moved in after protesters chanted for the removal of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and as looting broke out in Bulawayo, a stronghold of opposition to the ruling ZANU-PF party, an AFP reporter witnessed.

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".

Mr Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after Mr Mugabe resigned following a military takeover and mass demonstrations.

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The polls were controversial, with widespread accusations of vote-rigging.

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