Economic crisis: Zimbabwe police and protesters expected to clash

A showdown is approaching in Zimbabwe on Thursday as labour unions have promised to go ahead with scheduled protests against Zimbabwe’s continued economic crisis. This is despite a police refusal on account of fears of a fresh cholera outbreak.

Zimbabwe’s largest trade union (ZCTU) called for the whole nation to protests on Thursday as the country’s economic crisis worsened.

The trade union said the strike was triggered by sharp price hikes, a new tax on electronic transactions and daily shortages ranging from fuel to drugs.

“We are going to approach the courts. We do not think the police have a legal basis [for any ban],” ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said on Tuesday.

Cain Mathema Zimbabwe’s home affairs minister warned that police would be out in full force to thwart any attempts by the ZCTU to demonstrate.

Mathema reportedly said that while Zimbabweans had a democratic right to demonstrate, that right must be exercised within the limits of the law.

“We hear that there are some who want to demonstrate against what they say are an untenable economic situation in the country. Let me say that our President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) is a peace-loving person. We are a law-abiding government and so is our President.

“If people go against the law and go to demonstrate, they must know that our law will deal with them harshly. We don’t want lawbreakers. We don’t want people who break our peace,” Mathema was quoted as saying.

“It’s either we do nothing but die in our homes because pharmacies are closing and hospitals have no drugs (or we) speak up and stand up for our rights,” ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said this week.

Zimbabwe has announced job cuts for civil servants as part of reforms to cut expenditure.

“We must all be realistic… Whatever some may claim, there are no silver bullets or quick fixes,” Mnangagwa said on Monday calling for people not to panic.

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