Protest strike hits Harare as pressure on Mugabe grows
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.