Police fire tear gas at protesters in Zimbabwe’s capital

July 4, 2016 6:30 pm

Zimbabwean protesters shout
political slogans and hold placards during a protest against the
Zimbabwean government on May 28, 2016 in Bulawayo. (AFP photo)

Police in have used
tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesting drivers
in the capital amid deteriorating economic conditions in the South
African country.

The violence erupted on Monday when the
protesters blocked roads leading into the center of Zimbabwe’s capital
of Harare and started throwing stones at police and their vehicles.
According
to reports, many of the protesters were young men who couldn’t find a
regular job and make a living by charging a small fee to load passengers
into minibuses.
The drivers expressed their anger over numerous
roadblocks that police set up in the streets of the capital, forcing
drivers to pay bribes.
This is while Zimbabwean police recently
promised to decrease the number of roadblocks following complaints
lodged by parliamentarians, tourism operators and city drivers.
The
Monday clashes came amid a surge in protests by Zimbabweans over the
past weeks over against economic hardship and alleged mismanagement by
the government of President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech during Zimbabwe’s 36th
independence celebrations in Harare, April, 18, 2016. (AP photo)On
Friday, a group of demonstrators staged an anti-government protest
rally against some restrictions on importation of basic commodities and
burned a warehouse at Beitbridge, a busy border post between Zimbabwe
and South .
Back in April, thousands of supporters of the
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party attended a
demonstration in Harare, calling for Mugabe’s resignation.
The
opposition says the 92-year-old president has failed to properly address
issues such as economic decline, mass unemployment and emigration in
Zimbabwe while accusations have also been high about repression of
dissent and vote-rigging during his tenure.
Mugabe has ruled
Zimbabwe since the nation’s independence in 1980. He has promised that
he will run again for presidency in 2018.
The veteran president often blames the West for Zimbabwe’s troubles.

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