Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Armed police patrol as Zim crisis deepens

Armed riot police patrolled the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, on Monday where frustrations have been growing over a deepening economic crisis.

The Zanu-PF government has routinely used police to violently break up opposition rallies and protests against a crisis that has left many Zimbabweans scrounging for food and medicines as health and education services collapse.

On Monday, dozens of riot police in armoured trucks and armed with automatic rifles were stationed at a central city park where protesters usually gather for marches.

Other police squads with batons, shields and tear-gas canisters patrolled Harare on foot, although there was no public announcement or visible sign of planned protests.

There was no comment from police on the deployment. Public anger is high over an economic meltdown that has brought 80% unemployment, chronic shortages of food and fuel, hyperinflation and an outbreak of cholera.

A power-sharing deal signed between Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in September has not been implemented as the sides argued over control of ministries and the abductions of opposition figures and human rights activists.

On Monday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced it would let workers with payslips cash their salaries without limit, while all other withdrawals remained restricted.

Zimbabwean dollar salaries are now mostly being used to pay for public transport, but many businesses are demanding payment in foreign currency in the face of inflation that officially stands at more than 230-million percent.

Critics say Mugabe — 84, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980 — has mismanaged the economy and violated human rights, sending the once-prosperous nation into meltdown.

A cholera outbreak has worsened the humanitarian crisis, infecting nearly 40 000 people and killing more than 1 900, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mugabe, who is on leave this month and returned home on Saturday from a week’s vacation in South-East Asia, says Zimbabwe’s economy has been sabotaged by Western powers opposed to his seizures of white-owned farms for black Zimbabweans. — Reuters

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Hawkish Reserve Bank sees South Africa edge towards a rates...

Analysts say the Reserve Bank could start tightening monetary policy as early as next month

More top stories

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

Greenpeace investigation exposes countries trying to dilute climate report

Greenpeace team says it has obtained leaked records of countries asking scientists to water down upcoming scientific report on climate change

Zondo responds to Fraser’s objection to his nomination as chief...

The deputy chief justice said all the former spy boss had to do to respond to bombshell testimony implicating him in state capture was to apply for a turn to testify

Immunocompromised finally prioritised for Covid-19 booster shots

Organ recipients are at greater risk of death from Covid-19, while waiting lists for transplants grow
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×