Zimbabwe security forces fatally shot at least five people and wounded 25 others during a crackdown on nationwide protests this week against a steep fuel price increase, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
The protests came after labour federation the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions labour movement called for a three-day national strike in response to the 150 percent fuel price hike announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Protesters burned a police station, barricaded roads with large rocks and looted shops in major cities including the capital Harare, the second largest city of Bulawayo and Kadoma.
The debate over possession of arms is raging following the August 1 killings and the January 14 demos. Today, Mlungisi Moyo the Zanu PF losing candidate for Bulawayo Central in the 2018 elections, posted these pictures of himself as his WhattsApp status pic.twitter.com/LmffJjVaG0
— MDC Zimbabwe (@mdczimbabwe) January 14, 2019
Government security forces responded with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and teargas which they fired at protesters and into people’s homes, Human Rights Watch said.
“Zimbabwe authorities have a duty to maintain security during protests, but they need to do that without using excessive force,” its southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga said.
The military has cut Zimbabwe off from the rest of the world; social media down, websites down, emails down & telemedicine down, WHAT KIND OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IS THIS BRUTALITY?@DIRCO_ZA @CyrilRamaphosa @Davos #SwitchBackOnZW #KeepItOnZW pic.twitter.com/YxdN8Hu6Ob
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) January 16, 2019
“Those responsible for using unlawful lethal force should be promptly investigated and held accountable.”
The rights group said it had been told by members of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights that they provided emergency medical services to 25 people with gunshot injuries on Monday.
Two people in Chitungwiza, near Harare and three in Kadoma had died from gunshot wounds.
This is what is happening in the cover of darkness in Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 People are being slaughtered by the military😒 @SkyNews @BBCWorld @KateHoeyMP @LynNemudonhi @Wamagaisa @KristenMuwani @Munashe_mb @TsunguAlice pic.twitter.com/yhzlOFeXwW
— Mbuya Gudo (@MamoyoT) January 16, 2019