OVERVIEW: Zim military helicopter fires teargas at demonstrators in capital Harare

2019-01-15 11:45

More violence is expected on the Zimbabwean streets on day two of the national shutdown, with reports saying that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change offices in Harare were set alight last night. Follow the live updates.


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Last Updated at 09:01
15 Jan 12:16

President Emmerson Mnangagwa whose country is facing its worst economic crisis in a decade, is visiting Russia in hopes of securing long-term loans.

Mnangagwa is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday amid turmoil in Zimbabwe caused by the severe economic downturn and protests against fuel hikes in which five people were killed.

This is Zimbabwe's worst unrest since deadly post-election violence in August.

Mnangagwa told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency before meeting Putin that he will ask for Russian loans but he did not say how much his country wants to borrow.

He also said Zimbabwe would like to see Russian companies explore for gas and oil.

Mnangagwa is also planning to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland next week to encourage international investment.

15 Jan 12:12

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions had called for a three-day national shutdown to protest against the fuel price increase announced by Mnangagwa, who then left for Russia on a multi-nation trip to try to attract international investment.

He is set to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Police and soldiers barged into homes in some Harare suburbs and assaulted people, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The MDC party said its headquarters was attacked.The opposition and other groups supporting the shutdown urged people to stay indoors rather than engage in street action. - AP

15 Jan 12:12

Another human rights group said 26 people suffered gunshot wounds and that some were afraid to go to hospitals for fear of arrest or assault.

Lives were lost, police officers were injured, property was damaged and more than 200 people were arrested, said Owen Ncube, the state security minister

He blamed the main opposition MDC party and some civil society groups for stoking violence in an attempt to topple the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power after longtime leader Robert Mugabe was forced to resign in November 2017. - AP

15 Jan 12:11

Businesses and schools are shut down and public transport vehicles are grounded in most of the country despite government assurances that security would be provided.

The government over the weekend announced a price of $3.11 per litre for diesel, and $3.33 per liter for gasoline. That means gasoline in Zimbabwe is now the most expensive in the world, based on data from GlobalPetrolPrices.com.

The site says Hong Kong had the highest price for a liter of gasoline on Jan. 7: $2.04.Five people were killed in Monday's unrest during which security forces opened fire on crowds, according to the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights. - AP

15 Jan 12:06

15 Jan 11:43

A Zimbabwean military helicopter has fired tear gas at demonstrators blocking a road and burning tires on a second day of protests after the government more than doubled the price of fuel.

Soldiers have moved in to disperse crowds at the busy intersection and transport hub in the capital, Harare, amid Zimbabwe's biggest unrest since deadly post-election violence in August.

Witnesses also report violence in the eastern city of Mutare, where people attacked passenger buses and destroyed some shops.

Businesses and schools are shut down and public transport vehicles are grounded in most of the country. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are disabled.

15 Jan 11:29

Zimbabwe police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the second city of Bulawayo on Tuesday, a day after violent demonstrations against a sharp hike in fuel prices rocked the country.

Police moved in after protesters chanted for the removal of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and as looting broke out in Bulawayo, a stronghold of opposition to the ruling Zanu-PF party -   AFP

15 Jan 11:22

Meanwhile, ZWNews is reports that Zimbabwe's acting president Constatino Chiwenga has not yet released a statement in response to the violence that resulted in the death of at least five people on Monday. 

The deceased and injured were shot by live ammunition discharged for automatic weapons, the report says.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa skipped the carnage by traveling to Moscow as protests erupted across his country Monday.

Mnangagwa is currently on a five country visit in Eastern Europe

15 Jan 11:16
Bulawayo24 is reporting this: The government of Zimbabwe has reportedly instructed POTRAZ to shutdown mobile internet access for citizens so as to prevent them from communicating and organizing protests similar to the one that took place on Monday.

15 Jan 11:07

15 Jan 11:07
Reports say that streets are mostly quiet in Harare and Bulawayo as banks, schools and businesses remain shut, a day after deadly protests over economic hardship.

15 Jan 10:43

A human rights group in Zimbabwe says five people were killed in clashes between demonstrators protesting fuel hikes and security forces who opened fire on some crowds.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights on Tuesday reported the death toll as many businesses in the capital, Harare, and other cities were closed following Monday's violence.

This is Zimbabwe's biggest unrest since deadly post-election violence in August.

Another human rights group says 26 people suffered gunshot wounds and that some were afraid to go to hospitals for fear of arrest.

State security minister Owen Ncube says lives were lost, police officers were injured and property was damaged.

He says more than 200 people were arrested and blames the main opposition MDC party and some civil society groups for the violence. - AP

15 Jan 10:39

15 Jan 10:37

Fin24 is reports that not having a currency of its own hasn’t stopped Zimbabwe from sliding into a currency crisis.

A scarcity of foreign exchange has led to long queues for petrol, bread and medicine and sent prices surging across the southern African country.

Police clashed with protesters in the capital, Harare, on Monday as the main trade-union group started a strike after the government more than doubled petrol prices to $3.31 a litre over the weekend, the highest in the world, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com.

The roots of the pain lie in Zimbabwe’s decision to scrap its own currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, a decade ago, and to adopt a basket of foreign units of which the greenback is the most widely used.

15 Jan 10:32

15 Jan 10:27

15 Jan 10:26

15 Jan 10:24
There are reports that internet has been shutdown in Zimbabwe

15 Jan 10:11

15 Jan 10:10
There are reports that social media has been blocked on mobile networks in Zimbabwe

15 Jan 10:09

15 Jan 10:07

Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Doug Coltart is tweeting that there is a widespread military operation in Harare’s townships, particularly in Dzivarasekwa and Chitingwiza.

There are claims soldiers are beating people up, going door to door, kicking down doors and dragging people out of their homes, he says.

See the tweet below

15 Jan 09:48

SABC is reporting that Zimbabwean motorists are flocking in South Africa to buy fuel.

"Some are carrying containers and crossing the border on foot while others are motorists who are filling extra containers.

"The influx of people from Zimbabwe coming to South Africa to buy petrol increasing by day. The movement started few days ago when it was becoming clear that the country was running out of fuel," the report says.

15 Jan 09:38

MDC's presidential spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda tells News24 that the attack on the MDC headquarters has been reported to the police but "we don't expect any arrests. The same thing happened on September 11, 1999, we are yet to see an investigation".

15 Jan 09:30

eNCA is reporting that the situation remains calm but tense in Harare.

Police have been deployed in most parts of the city.

The report also says that there are no commuter omnibuses driving into the CBD area.

15 Jan 09:19

News24 Africa has just spoken to MDC's presidential spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda and this is what he had to say:

"Yes, the building [MDC headquarters] was set alight by over 20 assailants who arrived in about 10 vehicles. They quickly deactivated our security personnel as some of them were armed.

"They then applied some substance after gaining entry by breaking into the building. They then set the building  ablaze.

"The fire was later  contained, owing to  the  fact  that  our ground floor does not have too  much furniture.

"Zanu-PF is abusing State monopoly of violence, bringing guns to burns our HQ. President Chamisa is saddened by these actions - he thinks they are unfortunate and regrettable.

"However, he remains resolute and unfazed. The president (Chamisa) says the MDC will continue growing, from strength to strength in a bid to serve our country and the great people of Zimbabwe. He notes that the grievances that Zimbabwe has against the Mnangagwa government are legitimate and genuine.

"He believes that on a day that the government oversaw the murder of unarmed citizens, it is shocking that they would want to continue their murder spree by burning party headquarters."

15 Jan 09:09

New Zimbabwe.com has quoted the MDC youth wing as warning the attackers against further provocation.

"We however want to warn Zanu-PF youths that our silence does not mean weakness, neither does exercising restraint mean we cannot defend ourselves," youth chairperson and legislator Happymore Chidziva is quoted as saying in a statement.

"Be warned! For you have no monopoly over violence. Do not provoke us, for we can land in your doorsteps! We remain unshaken, firm and resolute."

15 Jan 09:06

15 Jan 09:05

The Movement for Democratic Change leaders have taken to social media to condemn the attack on the party's headquarters.

"We certainly have a terrorist organisation in Zimbabwe, when they have a problem with managing the country they burn HQs.

"They bombed the MDC HQ, hoping to destroy us, they bombed daily news and now they just burned MRT House. Boko Haram is in Zimbabwe. Why would ZANU PF do this?," MDC presidential spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda tweeted.

See the tweet below

15 Jan 09:01
Human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe are accusing the security services of carrying out brutal reprisal attacks against protesters in night raids across high density suburbs, according New Zimbabwe.com.

15 Jan 08:48
A News Day report says that at least five people reportedly died while 24 others were injured as police clashed with protesters across the country on Monday.

15 Jan 08:45

SABC is reporting that fears are mounting in the southern African country, as as further violent protests are expected.

It says that at least 200 people were arrested and an unspecified number killed in the protests over a massive increase in fuel prices announced over the weekend.

See the tweet below

15 Jan 08:42
See this gallery of pictures showing Zimbabweans, as they took to the streets on Monday to demonstrate against the sharp rise in fuel prices announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the weekend.  

15 Jan 08:32

Meanwhile, AFP reports that violent protests that erupted in Zimbabwe on Monday after the government more than doubled fuel pump prices have claimed lives.

The report quotes the country's national security minister Owen Ncube, as accusing the opposition and civil society organisations of being behind the protests.

Ncube, however, does not specify the numbers killed.

15 Jan 08:32
See below, pictures of the vandalised MDC headquarters in Harare.

15 Jan 08:32

More violence is expected on the Zimbabwean streets on day two of the national shutdown on Tuesday, with reports saying that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change offices in Harare were set alight last night.

According to Eyewitness News, MDC's national executive Nqobizitha Mlilo confirmed that the party building was "torched and vandalised" on Monday night.

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