Udate 24. 01. 2018: Since "the Crocodile" has returned from his money-begging trip, the brutality of "sescurity"-forces has only increased. UN demands that the extrajudiial killlings stop and that the internet is opened immediately.

- Civil uprising brutally squashed by Zimbabwe Army, internet cut

Zim protesters demand that the Crocodile steps down

Zimbabwe has blocked Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp messaging app amid a crackdown on days of violent protests.

A coalition of local human rights groups says at least 12 people have been killed and many more beaten and tortured by security forces this week.

The UN has called on the government to halt the "excessive use of force" by security forces including firing live ammunition, and allegations of night-time door-to-door searches and beatings.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said it had recorded at least 844 human rights violations in all and accused the authorities of cutting off the internet "to mask the massive human rights violations".

Opinion and Open Letter By Olinda Chapel-Nkomo - B24 - 16 Jan 2019
 
I am extremely confused Mr President. Who is your latest post meant to benefit? You have blocked the internet for all Zimbabweans and therefore they can't see this. Is this "optics" for the international community ? Whom exactly are you speaking to?  We know your thoughts and prayers are with those affected in Zimbabwe. But your thoughts and prayers are may they suffer, let them feel the pain. Handinzwaro.

You have no bone of sympathy in you or even have an understating of what it means to be Zimbabwean. Zimbabwe belongs to the people of Zimbabwe.
 
You are a public servant of Zimbabwe. Your duty is to the people of Zimbabwe not to yourself. If you want to know what true power is then put a stop to all of this. Ask your armies to return to their barracks.
 
Ask the police to  return to their units and freeze all price increases until you have a dialogue with the people you serve. Attend to the people who have been injured. Console the families of the deceased. Return to Zimbabwe and put order in a country you were entrusted with to serve. The key word being serve. Then at that point you will understand what true power is.
 
Not a power that is engulfed with fear. Let the people of Zimbabwe respect you - not fear you! Because this will be your legacy when history is written. Be the president that liberated Zimbabwe not a leader that inflicted pain where we'd have been trying to heal 37 years worth of wounds.

Hatichada our souls and spirits have been broken. We have nothing left to lose. Because you have made sure there is nothing and you continue taking our dignity as human beings. Human rights law states the first right is the right to life for every human being.

Takurarama hupenyu kwete life. You talk about how violence will not solve anything yet you are the one in charge of gun wielding armies. Dragging our mothers and fathers from the sanctity of their homes. You talk about peace and not violence and yet you are the one attacking a cornered wounded animal and expect it not to bite.

The people of Zimbabwe are hungry, jobless and finally without hope and you ask why do they fight? Why do they destroy? Why are they angry? It's all because of you !!!! You are the reason. Bring back our husbands, fathers, and brothers that were dragged out of our homes by the armies .

We haven't heard from them. You gave them so much hope and they placed you on a pedestal and you let them down so completely. After years and years of dreaming of the day Mugabe left. It was meant to be our calm after the storm. But you were the hurricane. FIX THIS !

Our voices are as loud as lions and we will roar. If you are saying the truth is forbidden then YOU are breaking all the rules. It's high time all the TVs and radios played our version of events. We shouldn't have a reason to be afraid. The people of Zimbabwe are a very wonderful people and they deserve better than what's currently being served.

We have finally found our voices and you try and gag us with armies. Arresting Pastor Evan Mawarire. You can't shame people that have already been shamed. The Zimbabwean people have been shamed and humiliated for decades. We have been stuck in a lifetime of silence, so this time our voices will not be silenced. We have the tongues and voices to change a nation. And it has begun with each and every Zimbabwean. You can't walk us silently into the darkness.

You will not sent us quietly into the night. We demand respect ! We demand what is rightfully ours. What our fathers who fought for this country were promised.

We demand peace and prosperity for our children. We demand life. The voice of the people is the voice of God. Ityai mwari vakuru.

I pray for your soul. That the day you die mweya wenyu uyende kudenga kuna baba. You have the blood of so many on your hands. Ishe We no longer care for Zanu PF OR MDC , we care for Zimbabweans.

We care for Gogo in Binga, for 12 year old Chido who is about to be married. We care for the widow that needs ARV's or the women that die in child birth. Ishe vakupei Nyasha me tsitsi dzamusiri kutipa. But hazvinei denga rinezano nesu vana veZimbabwe. Ndatenda hangu

 

MUST READ (as predicted):

The Big Mac and the Crocodile

 

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Angry Zimbabweans riot after 150 percent fuel price rise imposed

Demonstrators block major roads, loot shops after President Mnangagwa's announcement sharply raising petrol prices.

by Tendai Marima - 15 Jan 2019

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe - Protesters in Zimbabwe barricaded the main roads into major cities on Monday to protest a fuel price rise announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

In the southern city of Bulawayo, commuter bus drivers and activists blocked thoroughfares with burning tyres, tree branches, and blocks of stone. Riot police tried to quell demonstrations in the western suburbs of Emakhandeni and Luveve, firing warning shots and tear gas, but the protesters remained defiant. 

Demonstrator Glen Ncube, 25, expressed anger at the president's announcement on Saturday of a 150 percent fuel price increase and the police actions. 

"What kind of a man does this? Can Mnangagwa even be called a president? He's making life hard for us and these police are trying to stop us as if they don't know our pain," said Ncube.

The government has vowed it "will not hesitate to take action" against protesters who threaten to destabilise the country and the military was deployed to assist police.

Zimbabwe is going through its worst economic crisis in a decade.

The government announced an increase from $1.34 for a litre of petrol to $3.31 with diesel surging to $3.11 per litre, igniting widespread discontent. Workers' trade unions have called for a three-day nationwide shutdown in protest. The action comes shortly after junior doctors ended a 40-day strike demanding salaries in US dollars and better working conditions. 

Since the crash of the hyperinflated Zimbabwe dollar in 2008, the country uses several currencies including the US dollar and its unpopular local surrogate called the "bond note". Because of a severe shortage of foreign exchange, most daily transactions are done in bond notes with the US dollar and South African rand trading on the black market at inflated rates.

Morrisson Nxulmalo, an unemployed 33-year-old Zimbabwean, told Al Jazeera he was prepared to protest until the government reversed the price increase.

"The fuel prices must come down, we are not going anywhere until they bring it down. This government is trying to play with us. They can bring their tear gas and police but we're here to fight for this country; I'm not going anywhere," he said.

A shopping complex in neighbouring Entumbane was looted with people carrying out crates of food and drinks and bottles of cooking oil while police battled to stop them from entering the shops.

In Bulawayo's city centre, people marched to the court and disrupted proceedings. Crowds swelled as ordinary citizens joined with protesting activists to add their voices to the anti-fuel price demonstrations.

The commuter fares have doubled due to the price rise since Saturday's announcement while some businesses shut their doors to protect stocks from potential looters. 

The government of Zimbabwe issued a statement condemning the riots as Western-sponsored acts.

"This brazenly unconstitutional plan which has sought financial support from some regime change organisations based in America and Germany, among other countries, represents a serious threat to our consolidating democracy, to the rule of law in our country, and to the authority of government and the state," the statement said. 

In Epworth, a low income area outside the capital Harare, four people were reportedly shot by security officers while eight people were arrested. Media reports from Harare also said police conducted house-to-house searches looking for protesters.

The headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance was under police surveillance. Party leader Nelson Chamisa - who narrowly lost to Mnangagwa in July's disputed election - has called on the president for dialogue to find ways to resolve the country's crippling economic crisis. 

Following a de facto coup in November 2017 long-time ruler Robert Mugabe stepped down, and after a disputed election in July that saw Mnangagwa elected into office, the leader has promised an economic turnaround for the impoverished African nation.

However, since the government's introduction of a two percent transaction tax in October, Zimbabwe's money woes have worsened and inflation has soared to double-digit figures since then. 

Mnangagwa is currently in Moscow, Russia, as part of a tour of Eastern Europe where he hopes to solicit investors and strike deals in a bid to help Zimbabwe's ailing economy.

Late on Monday, Fastjet, a low-cost African airline, cancelled its remaining flights to and from Zimbabwe on due to the unrest.

Follow Tendai Marima on Twitter and Instagram: @i_amten

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

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Protests Break Out In Zimbabwe As Economic Crisis Spiral


Zimbabwe Army quells public uprising that started as Fuel Protest

* Protesters angry over hike in price of fuel

* Police carry out stop and searches

* Shortages of cash plunge country into disarray

* Government, civil service unions set to meet (Adds details, background)

By MacDonald Dzirutwe - Reuters/VOA -

HARARE - Protesters barricaded roads and burned tyres in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Monday, as anger over the worst economic crisis in a decade spilled onto the streets and piled pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Police fired teargas to contain unrest in several Harare suburbs and Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, two days after Mnangagwa announced a massive fuel price hike in an effort to contain a runaway currency crunch.

Cash shortages have plunged the southern African nation’s economy into disarray, threatening widespread social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors sidelined under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

Everyday life is getting increasingly tough with the price of basic goods spiralling and medical supplies in short supply.

Motorists wait for hours to fill up at petrol stations where soldiers are often deployed to break up fights over who is next in line.

News of the 150 percent increase in fuel prices was greeted with shock in Zimbabwe where unemployment is over 80 percent. The government sets fuel prices via the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Agency.

Hundreds of residents in the townships of Epworth, Mabvuku and Mbare, all opposition strongholds, protested by setting tyres alight and blocking roads with stones after the main labour union called for a three-day strike starting on Monday in response to the price increase.

FEAR OF VIOLENCE

The authorities are keen to avoid a repeat of post-election violence in August in which six people were killed after the army intervened.

A Reuters witness saw protesters chanting anti-Mnangagwa songs in Mbare while riot police stood at a distance to block demonstrators marching into central Harare.

Some commuters could be seen walking home from the city centre because there were no public taxis.

“I am stranded in town now and I have no idea how I am going to go home,” Leeroy Kabanga told Reuters.

Riot police in trucks patrolled downtown Harare. Some companies closed early while schools called parents to pick their children, fearing a flare-up in violence.

“Police has deployed officers in all residential, shopping centres and CBD (central business district) to conduct patrols, surveillance, stop and search and in the process account for unruly elements,” Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema said in a statement.

Police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters outside the High Court in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, according to video footage from the Centre For Innovation & Technology, an independent news service.

The news service also showed footage of people looting a shop in a city suburb.

Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009 after it was wrecked by hyperinflation in favour of the greenback but now there is not enough hard currency to back up more than $10 billion in electronic funds trapped in local bank accounts.

Inflation reached 31 percent in November, its highest since 2008 when the figure hit 500 billion percent when prices changed daily and wiped savings and pensions.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Friday Zimbabwe would introduce a new currency in the next 12 months as the next measure to end the cash crisis.

This is little comfort to businesses and civil servants who are demanding to be paid cash dollars. Zimbabwe’s largest brewing company Delta Beverages, part-owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, threatened to only accept U.S. dollars as payment but later reversed its decision after government-led negotiations.

Later on Monday government negotiators are due to hold a second round of negotiations with civil service unions planning a nationwide strike from Jan. 22 to press for U.S. dollar pay.

Early on Monday Mnangagwa set off on a five-nation tour which starts in Russia and ends at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe Editing by Joe Brock and Raissa Kasolowsky)