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.
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.
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.