Teargas‚ burning tyres reported in Zimbabwe
Sporadic reports are surfacing of burning tyres‚ clashes with police‚ teargas and protesters being arrested during a one day shutdown protest in Zimbabwe on Wednesday. Civil servants and activists encouraged people to stay home in a national non-violent protest against corruption‚ the crumbling economy and delayed payment of civil servant salaries. NewsDay newspaper said in an update just before 1pm that youths had used burning tyres to block a main road leading to the CBD in Bulawayo. Five people were arrested earlier for staging a protest in the central business district‚ after singing “Mugabe must go”.NewsDay tweeted: “Current situation in Bulawayo‚ as protesters are burning tyres in the middle of the roads.” Current situation in Bulawayo,as protesters are burning tyres in the middle of the roads "@tinosamk#ShutDownZimpic.twitter.com/IM8t85zodH — NewsDay (@NewsDayZimbabwe) July 6, 2016async“#Bulawayo: Police now retreating as hundreds of youths carrying stones have just emerged throwing back teargases. @tinosamk #ShutDownZim‚” said the newspaper. #Bulawayo : Police now retreating as hundreds of youths carrying stones have just emerged throwing back teargases. @tinosamk#ShutDownZim— NewsDay (@NewsDayZimbabwe) July 6, 2016async A placard attached to a tree‚ published by the newspaper‚ read: “Reading wrong speech. Falling. Sleeping in meetings. Pllz Mugabe our ancestor go!!!!!”There were unconfirmed reports that Mugabe had called an emergency meeting at ZANU PF headquarters.Civilians were using social media to mobilise support for the protest – under various hashtags‚ including #ZimShutDown2016 and #ShutDownZimbabwe2016.Explaining why people had resorted to the national shutdown‚ Zimbabwe Independent news editor Owen Gagare said much of it boiled down to the economic crisis.He told CapeTalk breakfast host Kieno Kammies that people had witnessed high levels of government corruption and were frustrated by restrictions that prevented them buying and selling cheaper goods in South Africa.“People are mobilising themselves‚ they are taking action by themselves. So this is a civilian-led action and this is basically hunger driving people onto the streets‚” he said.