Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC party is planning to protest next week, here’s why

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s main opposition party is planning street demonstrations next week to protest against the government’s handling of the economy, which is mired in its worst crisis in a decade and has plunged most citizens into poverty.

The southern African nation is enduring shortages of foreign currency, fuel and bread as well as 18-hour power cuts. The power outages threaten mining and industrial output and have upended lives. [nL8N24X7EO]

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will hold marches in the capital on Aug. 16 against corruption, unemployment and power and fuel shortages and a deteriorating economy, the party said in a notice to the police dated Aug. 5.

“The national challenges are a result of a governance and legitimacy crisis arising primarily out of the disputed election of July 2018,” national organising secretary Amos Chibaya said in the notice, seen by Reuters.

The departure of long-time leader Robert Mugabe after a coup in 2017 was greeted with euphoria and hope, but this has gradually turned to despair as his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has failed to revive the economy or usher in meaningful political reforms.

Chibaya said demonstrators would present a petition to parliament after next week’s march.

Luke Tamborinyoka, the MDC deputy spokesman, confirmed the party had notified the police, adding that “we hope the police will allow us to exercise our constitutional right”.

Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said he could not immediately comment.

The MDC does not recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency and maintains that he rigged last year’s vote, charges that the 76-year-old leader denies. Last week, MDC legislators boycotted the mid-term budget statement in parliament because Mnangagwa was present.

The last big protest in Zimbabwe, organised by the main labour union in January against a sharp fuel hike, turned deadly after it spilled onto the streets and was met by an army clampdown in which more than a dozen people died. [nL8N1ZE26M]

Everyday life is getting increasingly tough, with the prices of basic goods spiralling and medical supplies in short supply. Motorists wait for hours to fill up at fuel stations despite fuel prices having gone up more than 500% this year.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Frances Kerry

Related Content

Op-Ed: A new decade has arrived, will it be Zimbabwe’s?

Economist Eddie Cross* argues why the next decade will be a crucial one for Zimbabwe. How much more can...

Op-Ed: This is how Zimbabwe has changed since I became president: Emmerson Mnangagwa

Two years ago, on November 18th, 2017, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets in the spirit of peace, unity and hope, calling for a new start. For a new Zimbabwe. This is how things changed.

Op-Ed: Two years on since Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s president, what’s changed?

Mugabe's gone – if you are in business so what?

Zimbabwe police give unions green light for public sector protest, what you need to know…

Zimbabwe police have given public sector workers permission to march for better pay on Wednesday in what is widely seen as a test of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's willingness to tolerate dissent.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Battles rages for control of the National Lottery

Ithuba says Hosken Conslidated Investment's constant legal attacks are an attempt to take back control of the National Lottery from a black business woman. Charmaine Mabuza, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ithuba joins CNBC Africa for more.

Rwanda reopens meetings & conferences to revive COVID-19 hit hospitality sector

After months of lock-down, Rwanda Convention Bureau announced that the country will reopen meetings and conferences, as it tries to revive the tourism and hospitality sector. Janet Karemera, Deputy CEO of the Rwanda Convention Bureau joins CNBC Africa for more.

Angola agrees to comply fully with oil cuts after OPEC pressure, sources say

DUBAI/ LONDON (Reuters) - Angola has agreed with OPEC to comply fully with a global pact on supply curbs and will compensate...

COVID-19: What the reopening of domestic flight operations means for Nigeria’s aviation industry

Domestic operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry will commence from Wednesday the 8th of July. Captain Dele Ore, a Retired Pilot and Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Maktech’s Godwin Makyao: Now Is A Time of Entrepreneurial Opportunity in East Africa

As an executive decision-maker in both the telecommunications and tourism industries, Godwin Makyao could not have experienced a more diverse set of...

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Trending Now

Ivory Coast’s 2020 growth seen sliding to 0.8% due to pandemic

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s gross domestic product growth is expected to slow to 0.8% in 2020 compared to a previous forecast...

Omnia delivers solid results from a stabilised business

South Africa's biggest fertilizer producer Omnia was profitable in the year to March after extensively restructuring its business units. Omnia CEO, Seelan Gobalsamy joins CNBC Africa to breakdown the results.

South Africa has bad record on keeping budget promises: Fitch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has a poor track record of implementing debt and spending reductions plans, ratings firm Fitch said on...

Africa’s top publisher to close South African publications, cut jobs

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African media and e-commerce group Naspers plans to lay off more than 500 employees and close a number...
- Advertisement -