SA in consultation with Zim following violent protests

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The South African government is monitoring events in neighbouring Zimbabwe following violent protests in which three people were killed.

“Consultations are taking place between diplomats. We are confident that the measures being taken by the Zimbabwean government will resolve the situation,” the Department of International and Cooperation said on Wednesday.

The Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, on Tuesday said three people, including a police officer, died in the protests that started Monday.

The Minister described the violent protests as an act of terrorism.

Mutsvangwa told a press conference that government was very aware of the terrorist activities that were targeting police stations with the intentions of stealing weapons for criminal activities around the country.

She said the past two days have been characterised by well-coordinated criminal behaviour to destroy properties and unleash violence on innocent citizens.

"Government urges members of the public to go about their normal day to day activities without fear, as their security is guaranteed and we appeal to the public to remain calm and peaceful," she told the journalists.

Ruling party ZANU-PF spokesperson Khaya Moyo blamed the opposition MDC Alliance for organising the illegal protests.

"The current politically instigated, barbaric acts of terrorism being perpetrated by the MDC Alliance under the guise of mass protest should stop forthwith," Moyo said.

On Tuesday morning, central streets in Harare, the capital, remained empty as people stayed home following Monday's violence. Internet access in Harare was cut off on Tuesday morning.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and some civic leaders had called for a three-day shutdown following the announcement of the fuel price increases on Saturday, arguing that ordinary people were being subjected to more suffering. -