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Zimbabweans 'ignore' stayaway calls amid govt threats

13 July 2016, 11:09

Harare- Zimbabweans have reportedly ignored calls for a stayaway, following government threats to crush any protests in the country, a report said on Wednesday. 

According to the BBC, the country’s public servants reported for duty in the capital Harare on Wednesday morning. Doctors, nurses and teachers were at their places of work.

Queues built up as normal at bus and taxi ranks to ferry people to work, while most businesses, including banks, were open, said the report.  

This came amid reports that President Robert Mugabe's government had threatened to unleash its security forces against those it accused of inciting the protests.

New Zimbabwe claimed that three ministers in the security cluster had issued a brief warning on Tuesday afternoon, saying that they would crush any violent protests planned in the country.

Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo said that the Zimbabwean police were working around the clock to ensure that they quashed any protests in the country.

Economic hardships 

"The ZRP, whose mandate is to protect life and property under section 219 of the Zimbabwean constitution, will be out in full force to deal with any disturbances that may arise and protect the same. I assure commuter operators, businesses and places of work that they will be given full protection," Chombo was quoted as saying.

The southern African country has in recent weeks been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demand that the government act on the ongoing economic hardships. 

The country came to an abrupt standstill after Zimbabweans downed tools last week on Wednesday.

Many businesses, shops, and schools were closed, while public transport and some government departments and courts also ceased to function.

Following the successful stayaway last week, the organisers of the event called for a similar event on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

But it remained unclear whether Zimbabweans would heed the call, especially after the recent arrest of one the leading figures in the protests, pastor Evan Mawarire.

Mawarire was arrested on Tuesday and charged with inciting public violence.

He was expected to appear in court on Wednesday. 

- News24


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