The European Union began political talks aimed at turning the page on hostile relations during Robert Mugabe’s era, enabling a resumption of direct financial aid for the developing economy.
At the start of the open-ended talks between diplomats and officials in Harare (pictured), the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Timo Olkkonen announced they aim to discuss issues including economic development, trade, investment, rights, rule of law and good governance.
The government has already signed up to an IMF monitoring programme where it has committed to political and economic reforms in a bid to set a track record of fiscal discipline that could lead to it debt cuts, and future financial aid.
At a separate event in a Harare hotel, President Mnangagwa signed a new bill creating a tripartite negotiating forum intended to assemble labour, business and government to shape policies.
Zimbabwe High Court ruled that the government exceeded its mandate in ordering an internet blackout during civilian protests last week, while the authorities blamed for the unrest the opposition politicians.
In his interim ruling, High Court Judge Owen Tagu ordered mobile operators to resume full services “immediately and unconditionally“. The biggest, Econet Wireless, compiled with the order late on January 21, it said in a message to its clients.
There was no immediate response from the government legal services on whether they would appeal the court judgment.
Police admitted three people died during the unrest, but lawyers and human rights groups reveal the evidence suggesting at least a dozen victims, while scores were treated for gunshot wounds in hospitals, and hundreds have been held on public order charges.
A several leaders of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are in hiding, and accused President Mnangagwa , nicknamed Crocodile, of seeking to “dismantle” the party, the spokesman for the MDC said.
Zimbabwe suffered an internet paralysis on January 18 as a result of the authorities extended communications ban to exchange emails after days of deadly protests over fuel price increases.
According to the governmental sources three people died during demonstrations that broke out on January 14 as a reaction on President Emmerson Mnangagwa decision to augment fuel prices by 150%.
NGOs and activists say the death toll was much higher and that security forces used arms and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest. According to the NGOs there were 12 deaths, 78 gunshot injuries, 46 cases of vandalism & looting, 242 cases of assault, torture, & dog bites, 466 arbitrary arrests & detentions.
Flows of injured people streamed into a hospital in the capital after the clashes with security.
Zimbabwe protesters blocked the roads and burned tires in a suburb of Harare , two days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a considerable fuel price hike in an effort to stem a deepening economic crisis.
Cash shortages have plunged Zimbabwe’s economy into disarray, threatening widespread social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors who massively left under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa’s announcement of a 150% increase in fuel prices was received with shock in Zimbabwe where unemployment is over 80%. The government sets fuel prices via the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Agency.
Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe said that he accepted the election victory of his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, IOL news site reports.
“Mnangagwa won. It’s now constitutional… It was an election and his victory cannot be disputed. We now leave behind us the transgressions of yesterday.” Mugabe told mourners on September 6 at his mother in-law’s funeral ceremony in the capital, Harare.
Zmbabwe‘s newly sworn-in President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed on Sunday, August 26 to open a probe into violence which followed the country’s first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted from power.
“To put closure and finality to the matter, I will soon be announcing members of the commission of inquiry into the said violence who will, upon completion, publish their findings,” he said shortly after being sworn in.
“This is a different Zimbabwe, the dawn of the second republic of our Zimbabwe” the President Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe’s president elect Emmerson Mnangagwa will be inaugurated on Sunday, August 26. Crowds of supporters are expected to gather at Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium for the ceremony.
Mnangagwa has called for peace after a top court upheld his victory in last month’s election.Writing on Twitter, Mnangagwa said his door was open and his arms extended to Chamisa.
In a statement the MDC said it respected the court’s ruling with a heavy heart but wouldn’t say exactly what the party plans to do next. Press-conference of Chamisa has been declared today.