Zimbabweans riot over increase of fuel prices
By Web Master
AS citizens protest the increase in fuel announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday, pictures and videos have emerged of how the day is panning out across the country.
Kombis in Nkulumane, Sekusile have been grounded, have been grounded.. Also, a “one way” route to town has been closed. Sources say it’s a complete #shutdownZimbabwe in Nkulumane. Sources in Lobengula suburb in Bulawayo said that Khami road is closed and no-one is able to drive into town, although that could not be independently verified.
THE riot police have given the biggest hint yet that they are prepared to use maximum force to put down protests by firing warning shots in Epworth in an attempt to disperse protesting crowds.
The is reportedly a very heavy police presence in the area as multiple water cannons have been deployed to subdue the community which has been identified as one of the bedrocks of protests.
Sources also told ZOOMZimbabwe that kombis have parked in the middle of the Harare-Bulawayo highway, blocking traffic to and from the city. The blockade has been made at Kuwadzana Extension.
President Mnangagwa warned that street skirmishes would be met with the maximum force. This followed indications that there would be street protests against his announcement of fuel price hikes.
In a statement yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema implored Zimbabweans to go about their business without hindrance.
“My ministry assures all peace loving citizens and visitors that the Zimbabwe Republic Police has deployed officers in all residential, shopping centres and CBD to conduct patrols, surveillance, stop and search and in the process account for unruly elements who may try to disturb the tranquil environment which is prevailing in the country,” he said.
“May I urge Zimbabweans to continue undertaking their various social and economic activities as usual. Members of the public should feel free to access services from various entities without any hindrance.”
Last week the government more than doubled fuel prices to among the highest in the world, in a bid to improve supplies, as the country continued to struggle with its worst gasoline shortages in a decade, AFP reported.
In a televised address on Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said prices of petrol and diesel would more than double to tackle a shortfall caused by increased demand and “rampant” illegal trading.
Mnangagwa, who took over from longtime leader Robert Mugabe and won a disputed election last July, also announced a package of measures to help state workers after strikes by doctors and teachers over poor pay.
He said from midnight on Saturday, petrol prices would rise from $1.24 a litre to $3.31 and diesel from $1.36 a litre to $3.11.
But many Zimbabweans criticised the move, worrying a knock-on spike in other costs would worsen an already difficult economic situation and trigger protests and strikes.