Zimbabwean protesters burn tyres, block roads over fuel price hike

16 January, 2019, 21:57 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • The Zimbabwe government hiked fuel prices sharply over the weekend sparking protests. AFP  Jekesai NJIKIZANA

Zimbabwean soldiers on January 14 deployed in some urban areas where police clashed with protesters over fuel hikes, deepening the sense of crisis in a country where the economy is rapidly deteriorating.

"Guests of government by way of foreign missions, other registered foreign bodies and tourists will fuel and refuel at designated points at the price of 1.24 USA dollars per litre for diesel and 1.32 US dollars per litre for petrol upon production of proper identification documents", Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa addressed the recent protests in Zimbabwe, which had begun on Monday after the government doubled fuel prices.

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

The government blocked internet access a day after widespread protests against a 150 percent increase in fuel prices announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Saturday.

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

Hundreds more were arrested as demonstrators took to the streets in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo.

In Chitungwiza, a satellite town of the capital where anti-government feeling runs high, a police station was reportedly besieged and automatic gunfire was heard.

The country's own currency, known as bondnotes, has been depreciating in value. Econet said it had received a written warrant from State Security Minister Owen Ncube and the Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation Issac Moyo directing that it switches off its internet services.

The southern African nation faces a severe shortage of U.S. dollar cash and confidence in its bond notes, which are supposed to be worth the same as the dollar, is low.

On Tuesday, government ordered the total shutdown of all internet services.

Speaking during his visit to Russia, Mnangagwa said the fuel price increase "was necessary and still is".

He said the government would crackdown on "elements bent on taking advantage of the current fuel shortages to cause and sponsor unrest and instability in the country".

According to Ivanov, Zimbabwe's authorities are now implementing a wide range of legislative changes that would let Alrosa enter the country's market and negotiate more serious projects with Zimbabwean partners.

"The Zimbabwean people have the constitutional right to protest peacefully and express themselves regarding developments in their country". Mr Mnangagwa has also requested Moscow's help in training his army, he told a Russian news agency. "President Mnangagwa, however, is consistent with the Mugabe administration with these violations".

"I call for calm and peace from all of our brothers and sisters". We particularly condemn the unleashing of the military on citizens.

Past year he won a poll marred by violence and claims of election rigging.



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