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Zimbabwe crackdown to further isolate economy as democratic activist faces court

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Zimbabwe crackdown to further isolate economy as democratic activist faces court

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zimbabwe crackdown economy
Photo: News of South

UPDATE: Zimbabwean authorities have postponed a bail hearing for Evan Mawarire. He remains behind bars. [0908 GMT]

After a week of turmoil in Zimbabwe, high profile democratic activist Evan Mawarire will appear in a Harare court today. He is charged with subversion for his role in encouraging a three-day strike last week, which was accompanied by protests against the government’s decision to increase fuel prices by 130%.

The unrest claimed the lives of at least three people, although rights groups put this figure at 12, citing a heavy-handed response from Zimbabwe’s security services that included the use of live rounds on protestors.

The fuel price hike is just the latest symptom of an economy suffering from decades of mismanagement. While President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared Zimbabwe ‘open for business’ after dictator Robert Mugabe was forced from power in late 2017, the new president has been unable to deliver on his promise of increased prosperity.

Mr Mnangagwa has cut short a trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where he was expected to lobby for foreign investment in a bid to improve Zimbabwe’s economic malaise. Indeed, his government’s crackdown last week, which included shutting down the internet and arresting opposition figures such as Evan Mawarire, will have investors running for the hills.

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Photo: REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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