Pressure mounts on Zimbabwe leader as shutdown looms

Protests have taken place since beginning of the month calling for Robert Mugabe to resign or fix economy.

John Cassim - HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) - The civil unrest in Zimbabwe is set to continue, following a call by popular pastor Evans Mawarire for another shutdown this Wednesday and Thursday, in a bid to pressure 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe to either resign or fix the biting economy.

In a video posted on his Facebook on Monday, Mawarire said, issues affecting Zimbabweans have yet to be dealt with, hence the added pressure on Mugabe.

“What we intend to do is shut down the country once again as we break the fear that has gripped this nation,” Mawarire said in Shona, a local language in Zimbabwe. “Fellow citizens the issues will remain the same, yes people shall get arrested but these grievances can never be arrested.” 

Mawarire has vowed to continue using non-violent resistance until the government fires corrupt cabinet ministers, pays state workers salaries on time, puts an end to police roadblocks and brutality.

Zimbabwe slipped into turmoil on July 1 when protesters forced authorities to close the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe where property was destroyed  demanding the lifting of an import ban on basic goods.

 Similar protests took place in the capital the following Monday as drivers parked their buses complaining of numerous roadblocks and corrupt traffic police.

On Wednesday July 6, business came to a halt in all major cities in response to a ‪#ShutDownZimbabwe2016 call on social media. 

Schools, shops, government offices and vending markets were closed throughout the country.

Hundreds, including minors, have since reportedly been arrested throughout the country forcing Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to intervene as local media reported a child had died of teargas suffocation in Bulawayo, the country’s second biggest city after capital Harare. 

On Monday night Mawarire posted another video, in which he claimed that Zimbabwean police had called him for questioning Tuesday.

“We have not broken any law therefore I have faith that this is routine questioning,” Mawarire said in the video posted on Facebook.  

Robert Mugabe has been in power since 1980. He has passed several controversial decisions that have led the country down a rocky economic path.





Tags: Yannick Demoustier, Mugabe, Zimbabwe, zimbabwe un, africa protest, Zimbabwe president, Harare, zimbabwe protest, zimbabwe economy, zimbabwe politics, zimbabwe lawyers, zimbabwe south africa, zimbabwe poverty, evans mawarire, John Cassim

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