Politics

Zimbabwe’s President Throws Country into an Economic Tailspin

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa

When economically challenged rulers try to run nations, especially fragile ones, they can easily make mistakes.

In the past few weeks demonstrators have taken to the streets of Khartoum and Omdurman to protest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s removal of subsidies that have long kept bread and fuel affordable.

Now it’s Zimbabwe’s turn. Just before flying off to Russia last weekend, President Emmerson Mnangagwa doubled the price of petrol. Doing so brought already impoverished urban Zimbabweans out onto the streets of the capital Harare as well as Bulawayo and a dozen other cities and towns. Protesters blocked roads with tires, trees, and rocks, stopped bus transport, attacked the police, threw canisters of tear gas back at security forces, and generally ran amok.

At least five people were reported to have been killed. Flights into Harare were cancelled and the government closed down the internet.


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