Zimbabwe faces possible new violence as rallies and strike action planned

Johannesburg – Zimbabwe could face a new outbreak of violence and unrest after the main opposition party unveiled plans for fresh rallies and strike action starting on Friday.

Last month senior Zanu-PF officials warned that the government wouldn’t hesitate to deploy the army to confront protesters before warning that soldiers were trained to kill, the Guardian reported.

In January at least 13 people were killed and hundreds beaten, with reports of many rapes as well, following street protests.

The planned opposition campaign follows a series of austerity measures imposed on Zimbabweans by the government and its attempts to launch a new currency as many people fall deeper into debt.

Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said it was time to throw off “the yoke of bondage” of Zanu-PF, which has ruled for nearly four decades.

Thirty thousand teachers in impoverished rural areas appear ready to support the protest action after they accused Harare of reducing them to beggars due to their low wages contrasting sharply with the spike in the price of everyday goods.

Obert Masaraure, the leader of a union representing the 30 000 teachers, said his members would not be intimidated.

“We remain in the trenches and will continue to fight. We will be on the streets very soon to push the government to address this issue,” Masaraure said.

“They are celebrating budget surpluses but they are not paying workers, there are no hospital medicines. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

African News Agency (ANA)