Published: Mon, January 21, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

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

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

The DA claimed Ramaphosa and his government "seemed intent on sitting on their hands over the Zimbabwe crisis in much the same manner as (former president) Thabo Mbeki's failed diplomacy".

Activist group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said it was representing more than 130 people arrested following the protests.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva at the regular biweekly press briefing, Shamdasani called on the authorities to ensure that the countrys security forces handle protests and exercise their power especially the use of firearms and live ammunition strictly in accordance with the countrys global human rights obligations and the relevant principles.

The Zimbabwean police have launched an operation that targets hooligans who looted shops, destroyed properties and killed a cop during a violent protest early this week.

The partial lifting of the internet closure should ease the economic impact of a web shutdown.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said it treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and 100-plus other cases of "assaults with sharp objects, booted feet, baton sticks" and more last week.

This came after thousands of fed-up citizens heeded calls by the ZCTU to stay away from work in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's unpopular decision to sharply hike the prices of fuel - triggering riots in the process and the subsequent mayhem which was witnessed mainly in Harare and Bulawayo this week.

"The very same people who terrorised Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe are still in charge under Mnangagwa".

As life returned to a semblance of normality in Harare, police continued to patrol the capital's streets.

"Our country is going through one of the most trying periods in its history", the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said last week, lamenting the government's "intolerant handling of dissent" and its failure to halt economic collapse. Downloading and using VPNs has become standard practice for people faced with an Internet ban and they use it to access the banned social media sites.

Zimbabwe recently chose to ban Internet access to its citizens and this was confirmed by the owner of the largest telecommunications company in the country.

Media company MISA-Zimbabwe said the country was in a "total internet shutdown", according to reporting from the Associated Press (AP).

"We call on the Zimbabwean government to respect its constitutional and worldwide legal obligations regarding the right to freedom of expression". The government has already blocked the internet on two separate occasions this week alone.

Civil servants, who gave Mnangagwa's government a 14-day notice to strike on January 8, want to be paid in dollars or have the monthly salary of the lowest paid worker increased from $414 to $1,700, Muzondo said.

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