#Zimbabwe: return to calm or abnormal?

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While Zimbabwe can congratulate itself for putting an end (in time) to the protests against the recent rise in fuel prices, the bloody repression and numerous arrests are reminiscent of the repressive policies of Robert Mugabe’s time.

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A Zimbabwe on the edge of chaos. Blame for the protests launched last Monday in Harare and Bulawayo by the Zimbabwe Trade Union Confederation ( ZCTU ). The main trade union center of the country protested against rising fuel prices.

For example, by selling gasoline at $ 3.31 per liter, Zimbabwe becomes the country with the highest fuel price in the world, according to GlobalPterolPrices. For Head of State Emmerson Mnangagwa, this is about providing solutions to “the persistent shortage of fuel due to rising consumption in the economy and illegal activities related to exchange rates and trade ( of oil) “.

An argument that has not satisfied his people at all, especially trade unionists. “We can not pay every day 3 dollars for a taxi ride,” told AFP Monday Mulungisi Tshabalala, a resident of Bulawayo. “We are tired of Mnangagwa (…) he has to leave”.

In response to the demonstrations, a brutal repression that will have done in three days, three deaths according to the government. For human rights NGOs , it is more than triple the figure put forward by the authorities. Not to mention the 70 wounded by bullets and the 600 arrests recognized by the Ministry of the Interior. Among those arrested, the pastor and opponent Evan Mawarire who appeared in court for “subversive activities”.

“Excessive use of force”
On the side of international institutions it is time for condemnations and recommendations. The case of the UN which denounced on Friday an “excessive use of force” and recommended to the regime of Mnangagwa to “put an end to the repression”, release the prisoners and conduct “independent” investigations to clarify these violence that bereaved Zimbabweans.

These people, during Robert Mugabe’s undivided reign (1987-2017), were constantly and copiously crushed and muzzled by a repressive machine carefully designed and manned by hard-working men, including Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former security minister.

The recent repression and those related to the presidential election of July 2018 are proof that the repressive system has not changed. The more than 14 million Zimbabweans will have to continue to be miserable because of a chronic economic crisis linked in part to the perpetual inflation caused by the lack of liquidity.

Therefore, at a time when Harare is claiming a return to calm after the social unrest of the past three days, the socio-economic and socio-political situation remains untenable or abnormal. And until when? Perhaps when the ship has docked at the “new Zimbabwe” promised last July by the strong man of Harare.

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