Protests Have Broken Out In Zimbabwe After Petrol Price Hike

Protests have broken out in Zimbabwe’s two main cities following the more than doubling of the fuel price.

Burning tyres and boulders are being used to barricade roads and block buses from carrying passengers.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the fuel price rise is aimed at tackling shortages caused by an increase in fuel use and “rampant” illegal trading.

In Harare, most businesses are closed following calls by trade unions and the opposition for a three-day strike over the fuel price increase.

In the capital, Harare, hundreds of residents in the suburb of Epworth blocked roads to prevent buses from getting to their destination.

“People are protesting now that things are hurting. People are suffering,” a protester told the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in Harare.

He added that the government does not seem to have solutions to their problems and called on it to step down.

In the southern city of Bulawayo, demonstrators attacked minibuses heading to the city centre and used burning tyres and boulders to block the main routes into town. Some schools turned away pupils fearing for their safety.

Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said: “We have a national crisis which is descending into a humanitarian crisis.”

Mr Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after long-time ruler Robert Mugabe resigned following a military takeover and mass demonstrations.