'I'm happy that the country is quiet,' says Zim president as he arrives home after protest crackdown

2019-01-22 08:11
Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has landed back in Harare, state television said on Tuesday, after cutting short a foreign tour over nationwide protests that were met with a brutal security crackdown.

Police and soldiers launched a large-scale operation against suspected protestors, activists and organisers of the strike last week, which was triggered by a sharp rise in fuel prices.

At least 12 people were killed and 78 treated for gunshot injuries, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, which recorded more than 240 incidents of assault and torture.

About 700 people have been arrested.

"I am happy that the country is quiet. Our people should concentrate on their work," Mnangagwa said after landing late on Monday night. "There are channels of communication. We want Zimbabwe developed."

The High Court in Harare ruled Monday that government had no powers to order the shutdown of the internet which was imposed as protests swept across the country.

Handing down judgement in a case brought by human rights lawyers and journalists, judge Owen Tagu said "it has become very clear that the minister had no authority to make that directive".

Internet and social media appeared to be partially returning to normal on Tuesday morning.

Economic crisis

Mnangagwa, who was seeking much-needed foreign investment on his tour, scrapped plans to attend the Davos summit of world leaders this week.

He had visited Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan before cutting his trip short.

Mnangagwa, 76, had pledged a fresh start for the country when he came to power in November 2017 after Robert Mugabe was toppled, ending 37 years in office that were marked by authoritarian rule and economic collapse.

But Zimbabweans have seen little evidence of the promised economic revival or increased political freedoms.

The UN human rights' office criticised the government's reaction to the protests.

The violent demonstrations erupted on January 14 after Mnangagwa announced petrol prices would more than double in a country that suffers daily shortages of banknotes, fuel, food and medicine.

He flew to Russia soon after making that announcement in a televised address to the nation.

Accused of conducting a deadly crackdown on dissent, the army and police denied any wrongdoing, saying some assailants raiding homes were wearing official uniforms to pose as security personnel.

Mugabe, now 94, ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist from independence from Britain in 1980 until 14 months ago.

The military, fearing that Mugabe's wife Grace was being lined up to succeed him, seized control and forced him to resign before ushering Mnangagwa to power.

Read more on:    emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.