Zim leader calls for 'calm, peace' amid violent protests over fuel hikes

2019-01-16 15:30

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for "calm and peace", as the southern African country entered its third day of protests over the recent fuel hikes.

Writing on his Facebook page, the president said he was "deeply saddened" by the events - which have led to several deaths - in the southern African country .

Mnangagwa described the ongoing protests as "violence and vandalism", which had not place in the Zimbabwe.

"As I have said numerous times, everyone in Zimbabwe has the right to express themselves freely – to speak out, to criticise and to protest. Unfortunately, what we have witnessed is violence and vandalism instead of peaceful, legal protests.

"There can be no justification for violence, against people and property. Violence will not reform our economy. Violence will not rebuild our nation.

"What will lead to a stronger economy is investment. That is why I travelled to Moscow, and that is why I will be travelling on to other countries in the region and then the World Economic Forum in Davos," Mnangagwa wrote.

He said he would continue with his visits to Moscow and other neighbouring countries to boost the country’s image and attract investment.

Widespread unrest

Mnangagwa's remarks came amid widespread unrest in the southern African country.

Reports indicated that a Zimbabwean military helicopter on Tuesday fired tear gas at demonstrators in the capital Harare on the second day of the deadly protests.

An Associated Press quoted witnesses as saying that Witnesses also reported violence in the eastern city of Mutare, where people attacked passenger buses and destroyed shops.

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Businesses and schools were shut down and public transport vehicles were grounded in most parts 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/L for gasoline.

That means gasoline in Zimbabwe was now the most expensive in the world, based on data from GlobalPetrolPrices.com. The site said that Hong Kong had the highest price for a litre of gasoline on January 7: $2.04.

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Read more on:    emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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