m3n4.net April 20, 2019

Zimbabwe protests: Crackdown is just a 'taste of things to come'

21 January 2019, 02:31 | Tara Lloyd

Zimbabwe under internet blackout after protests


The protests began after the government more than doubled the price of gasoline.

The DA strongly believed that the current human rights crisis in Zimbabwe was of sufficient gravity to warrant an ICC investigation, because, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, at least 12 people had been killed, 78 shot at, and 240 faced "assault, torture, inhumane, and degrading treatment".

Charamba accused MDC leader Nelson Chamisa of seeking to gain power "on the blood of the Zimbabwean people" by fuelling violent protests and trying to overturn Mnangagwa's July election victory.

"We don't have verification of the exact number of people who were killed or injured, but there are Doctors' Associations that are putting numbers out there that more than 60 people were treated in hospitals for gunshot wounds", says United Nations human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani.

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Zimbabwe's government has defended the response by security forces, and police spokeswoman Charity Charamba on Saturday expressed "grave concern" that people were committing crimes while wearing police or military uniforms.

Mawarire's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had argued that facts presented by the prosecution did not disclose an offense.

The media group MISA-Zimbabwe said Zimbabwe was now in a "total internet shutdown".

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the price increase was needed to combat nationwide fuel shortages.

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Zimbabweans had briefly rejoiced when Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe, who was forced out in late 2017, thinking the new president would deliver on his refrain that the country "is open for business".

In Bulawayo, Gweru and some parts of Harare, shops were looted although when police rounded up the suspects, they identified Zanu PF members and soldiers among them.

The group, which included people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Burundi, also called on the SA government to "stand firm" and to place "maximum political pressure" on the Zimbabwean government. "In particular, there are disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force", said Baldwin in a statement.

Talking to the pro-government paper, spokesman George Charamba said the opposition MDC party and the trade unions had "unleashed" violence.

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"We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure its security forces act professionally, proportionately and at all times with respect for human life and constitutional rights". Teachers and other public workers who draw their salaries via mobile payments from the government were suffering without internet, the AP reports.

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