Sunday, 3 July 2016


President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF have been warned that the deadly riots which paralysed Beitbridge Border Post on Friday could signal the beginning of social unrest which could tear the country apart.

The warning came as police confirmed to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that they were on high alert to deal with any disturbances ruthlessly, and at a time that angry civil servants are finalising their plans to embark on a crippling nationwide strike on Tuesday, as the government continues to battle to pay them their salaries.

MDC secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, said the Beitbridge riots, as well as what he called “simmering discontent” among the populace with Zanu PF’s misrule could be a harbinger of worse things to come.

“The regime of Robert Mugabe is falling apart because of the simmering discontent among citizens. What happened in Beitbridge is only the beginning because there is more to come and we have predicted this in the past.

“We are in support of these revolts and we know the regime will fall before 2018 because government has no solution to what is happening, as well as the myriad challenges facing Zimbabweans,” he said.

Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leader, Simba Makoni, also warned that tension was building up in the country and that ordinary people were feeling justified to hold demonstrations as Zimbabwe’s economy continued to die.

“Clearly, people are very angry not just about their well-being, but also by the clumsy way that those in leadership are treating them. This is especially so if you look at the situation of civil servants where they just wake up to hear that they will not be paid this month, all this without consultation.

“For the ordinary man on the street, the situation is exacerbated by the economic hardships he is enduring, the banning of imports and the introduction of bonds notes. There is no doubt that tension is slowly building up.

“People also feel that they have to demonstrate their unhappiness ... hence the Africa Unity Square vigil, the hash tag protests and recently the Beitbridge riots,” Makoni told the Daily News on Sunday.

Analysts also said the ongoing cash shortages and long bank queues, looming food shortages, the ban on the importation of basic commodities, an inevitable rise in basic food prices and the broke government’s failure to pay angry civil servants their June salaries did not bode well for continuing peace and stability in the country.

They said it was telling that normally pliant and peace-loving Zimbabweans were rioting against the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority in Beitbridge, after the cash-strapped government’s ban on the importation of basic commodities, which threatened the livelihood of tens of thousands of people and their families who live off street vending.


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