by DANAI MWARUMBA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CALM has returned to Zimbabwe after days of violent protests triggered by a fuel hike of more than 150 percent.
The normalization of the situation came at the end of a three-day protest organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trades Union (ZCTU).
However, while order is prevailing on the streets that resembled a war zone in the major cities earlier this week, Zimbabweans are still tense over the worsening economic crisis.
Some criticised government for failure to address the political and economic turmoil, contrary to promises made during the election campaigns.
“This is what angered most of us youths,” said activist Munaye Munyoro in the central city of Gweru.
He alleged the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa stood to gain more from the fuel price hike.
“ZANU-PF leaders are not serving people’s interests except their corrupt and greedy egos hence most of them, including the president, in conflict of interest, own petrol service stations nationwide,” Munyoro said.
An entrepreneur in the second capital Bulawayo, Xolani Ndlovu, also alleged a conflict of interest by government members.
He said the increase in the price of fuel was unjustifiable.
Petrol now costs US$3,31 per litre (R45, 48) whilst diesel is $3,11 (R42,73) after the increases. Unemployment in Zimbabwe is above 80 percent. Middle income workers earn average salaries of $250-to-$450 (R3 435 to R6 163) per month.
“The announcement of the hike by president Mnangagwa was scandalous and atrocious. It should be condemned in strongest terms,” Ndlovu said.
Mnangagwa, who has been out of the country, earlier last week called for “calm and peace.”
ZANU-PF’s parliamentary caucus however ruled out dialogue with the main rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.
It blamed the opposition of fuelling the protests.
– CAJ News