Tag Archives: Harare

Zimbabwe: EU demands liberation of activists

«The Constitution of #Zimbabwe guarantees the right to peaceful protests; a right that @efie41209591, @advocatemahere and others exercised today. They should be released from police custody. #EU4HumanRights,» reads the Tweet of the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe, demanding immediate liberation of Tsitsi Dangarembga (pictured), the novelist, and Fadzayi Mahere, the lawyer.

The EU’s cooperation with Zimbabwe, under the current funding period (2014-2020), aims to preserve the country’s democracy, bring stability, and build resilience to build a strong basis for an inclusive and sustainable growth.

At present Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis in more than a decade, marked by hyperinflation, a local currency that is rapidly depreciating against the US dollar and acute foreign exchange shortages. An estimated 90% of Zimbabweans are without formal employment.

The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP) focuses on:

– health
– agriculture-based economic development
– governance and institution building

The 11th EDF NIP amounts to €287 million. It is in line with the country’s agenda for sustainable socioeconomic transformation (ZimAsset) and the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020).

Zimbabwe is a low income country faced with several political and development challenges. However it has an educated population, is rich in natural resources, and has great potential for agriculture and manufacturing, but its development remains constrained by political and institutional bottlenecks.

Since the early 2000s, Zimbabwe has actually seen increased poverty, economic deterioration, and frequent droughts.

Harare in lockdown amid public discontent

Zimbabwe’s two main cities – Harare and Bulawayo – have been in lockdown since July 31, Friday, patrolled by the secuiry forces in an attempt of government to prevent protests called by activists over corruption and rapidly degrading economic situation, causing unprecedented hardships.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s critics blame his government the return to the authoritarian methods of late Robert Mugabe, banning demonstrations, and abducting and arresting opponents.

Mnangagwa has responded that the protests constitute an attempt of “insurrection” by the opposition.

The leading ZANU-PF party this week branded the U.S. ambassador in Harare a “thug,” accusing him of funding protests.

In central Harare, the capital, banks, supermarkets, and businesses were shut as police and soldiers patrolled the streets.

A journalist in Bulawayo, the other main city, described a similar situation there, with some police patrolling on horseback. Businesses also stayed shut in Harare’s townships, including Mbare – an epicenter of protests in the past.

Public indignation is rising over an economic crisis marked by inflation running above 700%, shortages of foreign currency and public hospitals crippled by strikes and a lack of medicine.

More than a dozen activists sought by the police for promoting Friday’s protests were in hiding.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere and Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga separately said on social media they had been detained for protesting in their neighbourhood. Mahere posted a video of police advancing towards her and telling her to stop recording them. She later could not be reached for comment.

“The security situation in the country is calm and peaceful” police spokesman Paul Nyathi said.

«The Constitution of #Zimbabwe guarantees the right to peaceful protests; a right that @efie41209591, @advocatemahere and others exercised today. They should be released from police custody. #EU4HumanRights» reads the Tweet issued by EU delegation in Zimbabwe, calling for immediate release of Tsitsi Dangarembga,the award-winning novelist, and Fadzayi Mahere, the Consitutional lawyer.

Image above: social media

US curbs Marange diamonds import

Zimbabwe denounced a U.S. administration decision to curb imports of diamonds from its Marange field, branding the claim the country uses forced labor at the operations “a shameless lie.”

Invoking the repulsive prospect of alleged forced labor is a new nomenclature for seeking to bar Zimbabwe’s diamonds from the international markets,” said in a statement issued by officials in Harare. “This move constitutes a grave and serious attack on Zimbabwe’s interests and is no less than a manifestation of undeclared sanctions.”

Mugabe funeral in native village

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s ousted  President, will be buried early next week in his native village next to his mother’s grave,  and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, the family informed on September 12.

The Mugabe family members, who surrounded him when he died in Singapore hospital last week, and Zimbabwe‘s government have been at odds over whether the he could be buried in his homestead in Kutama, or at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.. followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Zimbabwe turns page of Mugabe era

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 Court orders to resume internet

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 internet paralysis

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.

Protesters block roads in Harare

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 Zimbabwes 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.

Clashes in Harare amid rising tensions

Three people have been killed in Zimbabwe capital  Harare in confrontation protesters, and troops, firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannon amid rising tension following presidential elections.

The army was deployed in the capital on  after it became clear that police is unable to cope with a wave of demonstrators who were indignant, claiming historic election is being rigged.

Mnangagwa arrives to Harare

Zimbabwe’s discharged vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as President on Friday following the resignation of Robert Mugabe after almost four decades in power, state broadcaster ZBC reported on Wednesday.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled for his safety after Mugabe sacked him two weeks ago, will land at Manyame Airbase in Harare at 6pm (1600 GMT), ZBC said. Mnangagwa’s discharing prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out.