Wednesday, 16 January 2019

The Latest: Scores Are Charged Over Zimbabwe Protests

The Latest on Zimbabwe protests (all times local):

5:25 p.m. Eight-two people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe's capital on charges of public violence amid a government crackdown on protests over dramatic fuel price increases.

Internet service is returning hours after the country's largest telecoms company told customers the government forced a shutdown.

Zimbabweans have been reporting arrests and gunshot wounds by security forces during three days of protests over the shattered economy and what is now the world's most expensive gasoline.

Zimbabwe's president says he is deeply saddened by what he calls "wanton violence and cynical destruction" while authorities blame the opposition for the unrest.

3:15 p.m. Zimbabwe's president says he is deeply saddened by what he calls "wanton violence and cynical destruction" during days of protests over dramatic fuel price increases.
The Latest: Scores Are Charged Over Zimbabwe Protests
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's statement in a Twitter post appears to side with authorities who have blamed the opposition for the unrest. Everyday Zimbabweans, meanwhile, are reporting arrests and gunshot wounds by security forces while the internet is cut off.

Mnangagwa is on an extended overseas trip seeking foreign investment in the shattered economy while hungry people at home face tear gas as they venture into the streets to seek bread.

The president says he understands people's "pain and frustration" and calls for peace. He notes the right to protest but says the past three days' demonstrations are not peaceful and legal: "There can be no justification for violence."

2:10 p.m. Armed police and soldiers are breaking up groups of more than five people in Zimbabwe's capital in a crackdown on protests over dramatic fuel price hikes.

Desperation for food has forced some people to venture out in Harare on the third day of protests over what is now the world's most expensive gasoline. But virtually all shops are closed.
Police have fired tear gas after a crowd tried to overrun a shopping center that opened to sell bread. Soldiers with AK-47s took charge of the long line.

"This kind of life is unbearable, we have soldiers at fuel queues and now soldiers again are controlling the bread queue," one man says. "Are we at war?"

Arrests and reported assaults continue as President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on an extended overseas trip trying to encourage foreign investment in the shattered economy. The Latest: Scores Are Charged Over Zimbabwe Protests

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