Protest strike hits Harare as pres­sure on Mu­gabe grows

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Riot po­lice pa­trolled through Zim­babwe’s cap­i­tal Harare on Wed­nes­day as a call for a na­tional strike against Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe’s eco­nomic poli­cies, closed busi­nesses and crip­pled the public trans­port sys­tem.

The strike fol­lows days of un­rest over the gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to pay civil ser­vants’ salaries, a cur­rency short­age, im­port re­stric­tions and mul­ti­ple po­lice road blocks re­port­edly ex­tort­ing cash from mo­torists.

Mu­gabe’s gov­ern­ment has de­layed pay dates for civil ser­vants as trea­sury funds run short af­ter years of eco­nomic de­cline, wors­ened by a se­vere drought which has hit agri­cul­ture.

Zim­babwe spends at least 80 per­cent of its rev­enue on state work­ers’ wages, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, while about 90 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion is out of for­mal em­ploy­ment.

There were few peo­ple on the streets of the usu­ally bustling cap­i­tal af­ter civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions called the strike to pres­sure Mu­gabe to tackle the eco­nomic cri­sis.

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