Zimbabwe has seen days of unrest since Mnangagwa made an announcement more than doubling fuel prices that made the struggling country’s gasoline the most expensive in the world.Zimbabwe’s president announced on Sunday that he will return home and skip the World Economic Forum after a week of turmoil in which activists have said at least a dozen people have been killed in a government crackdown.At Davos, he planned to appeal for foreign investment and loans to the southern African nation, but the visit had been expected to be a challenge.Growing frustration over rising inflation, a severe currency crisis and fuel lines that stretch for miles finally snapped after Mnangagwa announced the fuel price increase.
Civic leaders called for Zimbabweans to stay at home for three days in protest. Other people took to the streets. Some looted, in desperation or anger. The military was called in, and with Mnangagwa overseas, the hard-line former military commander and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was left in charge. A crackdown began.More than 600 people have been arrested, among them a prominent pastor and activist, Evan Mawarire, who has supported peaceful protests on social media and now faces a possible 20 years in prison on a subversion charge.South Africa, which neighbors Zimbabwe and has long played an outsize role in its affairs, has been largely quiet on the unrest. In the past, South Africa has lent large amounts of money to the Zimbabwean government to ease economic turmoil. Millions of economic migrants from Zimbabwe live in South Africa.
Join us on Africa Perspectives as look into the Zimbabwe Political Crisis.