Right2Know protest against Emmerson Mnangagwa at #Zimbabwe embassy

Zimbabwe under internet blackout after protests

21 January, 2019

The DA claimed Ramaphosa and his government "seemed intent on sitting on their hands over the Zimbabwe crisis in much the same manner as (former president) Thabo Mbeki's failed diplomacy". The NGO Forum says at least 12 people were killed.

Police say three people died during the demonstrations in Harare's capital and second city Bulawayo that turned violent.

A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said on Friday there were "worrying allegations of generalised intimidation and harassment by security forces carrying out door-to-door searches".

On Thursday, in a comprehensive report lifting the lid on the violence which occurred around the country during this week's stay-away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade of Unions (ZCTU), the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) revealed gory details of the brutality meted out to people by security forces.

Spokeswoman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani said, 'We are deeply troubled by the socio-economic crisis that is unfolding in Zimbabwe and the repression of large-scale protests in the country, following the government's decision to increase fuel prices, ' United Nations news center reported.

The price rise was aimed at tackling shortages caused by an increase in fuel use and "rampant" illegal trading, he said.

The main opposition MDC party, which had contested Mnangagwa's narrow election win past year in court, "is hoping to influence the global community's view of Zimbabwe".

"The total shutdown of the internet is simply to enable crimes against humanity", he said.

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on after he was officially sworn-in during a ceremony in Harare on 24 November 2017.

"Our country is going through one of the most trying periods in its history", the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a statement criticizing the government's "intolerant handling of dissent, "The Associated Press reports".

Before the family of Kelvin Tinashe Choto knew he had been killed, social media in Zimbabwe was circulating a photo of his battered body lying on the reception counter of a local police station.

"We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure its security forces act professionally, proportionately and at all times with respect for human life and constitutional rights".

The State went on to switch off Internet connectivity on Tuesday before it was temporarily restored to afford government to pay civil servants as well as attend to other worldwide payments.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment on the blackout, which critics say is an attempt to prevent images of heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

The internet shutdown cuts off crucial access to the mobile money that Zimbabwe's government uses to pay teachers and other public workers.

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