Zimbabwe’s security forces have forced a lockdown in Harare, on Thursday, clearing people off the streets and forcing businesses to close a day before planned anti-government protests.
In Harare, the capital, armed soldiers and anti-riot police manned checkpoints, telling people to leave.
The Zimbabwe police released a statement saying;
“All security arms of government are on full alert and will deal decisively with any individuals or groups fomenting violence and sending threats or provocative messages through social media or any other means.”
However, activists stated they would press on and people would demonstrate in neighbourhoods, as they cited mounting human rights abuses and the deepening economic crisis.
Economic Crisis in Zimbabwe
Demonstrations have sparked over President Mnangagwa’s struggle to keep his promise to revive the economy, with many saying he is exploiting the coronavirus lockdown to stifle dissent.
Public anger has mounted over government corruption with inflation at more than 700%, the second-highest rate in the world, eroding Zimbabwe salaries and pensions.
Doctors and thousands of nurses at government hospitals have stopped working over poor conditions, demanding to be paid in US dollars.
Seven babies were stillborn in one night at one major hospital because their mothers did not get adequate medical care due to the lengthy nurses strikes.