Protests In Zimbabwe Spell Death For Some Protesters

Protesters turn out in large number in the streets of Zimbabwe to oppose the government’s increase in the price of fuel.

However, some did not fare well as they were met with a violent crackdown by government security forces.

Local rights groups have reported at least 12 people had been killed and many more beaten by security forces.

The current social upheaval has forced President Emmerson Mnangagwa to cut short his overseas trip and return home.

According to press reports, Presidential spokesman George Charamba, speaking to the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper, blamed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for the violence that has accompanied the protests.

“The MDC leadership has been consistently pushing out the message that they will use violent street action to overturn the results of [last year’s] ballot,” he reportedly said.

However, the opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has rejected the charge and in a tweet stated that his thoughts were “with the victims of violence.”

Additionally, he tweeted “Despite the vitriol, we maintain a dignified position befitting our role as led by the people.”

In the meanwhile, the U.N. has called on the government to halt the “excessive use of force” by security forces, amid reports of door-to-door searches and the use of live ammunition.

Zimbabwe’s economy has remained battered over the years seeing widespread poverty, a 95% unemployment rate and an inflation rate of an estimated 79.6 billion percent in mid-November 2008.

Pollyanna Davy, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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