Wednesday, 13 July 2016


A planned two-day strike in Zimbabwe failed to start Wednesday when schools and businesses opened normally and police deployed throughout the capital, a day after a key protest organiser was arrested and charged with inciting violence.

The government addressed one of the main demands of the strike organisers when it announced that it would pay civil servants their June salaries on Wednesday, a day earlier than planned. The labour action was also called to protest police harassment and the reintroduction of a form of local currency.

Police on Tuesday arrested Evan Mawarire, 39, a baptist preacher and organizer of the #ThisFlag movement, and charged him with inciting violence, after a July 6 strike shut down much of the southern African nation. Police searched Mawarire’s home in Harare. He rose to prominence in April when he draped a Zimbabwean flag over his shoulders and recorded a lament on the state of his nation on YouTube.

Traffic from most of the capital’s townships was heavy as Zimbabweans headed for work, Kubatana, a human-rights organisation monitoring the strike, said in an e-mailed statement. Banks, which mostly closed during last week’s labor action, opened as usual.

Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo warned Zimbabweans that anyone fomenting violence would face “the full wrath of the law.”


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