Zimbabwe police fire teargas to disperse protests

29 September 2017 - 15:51 By AFP
Riot police cordon First street after skirmishes with protestors.
Riot police cordon First street after skirmishes with protestors.
Image: Shingai Nyoka‏

Zimbabwean police in the capital Harare on Friday fired teargas to break up protests against the country's worsening economic crisis as rising prices fuel opposition to President Robert Mugabe's regime.

Demonstrators led by the anti-government pressure group Tajamuka (We Are Agitated) demanded the resignation of central bank chief John Mangudya over severe cash shortages.

Shops in the city centre pulled down their shutters and currency traders fled their pavement stalls as dozens of anti-riot police patrolled the streets, AFP witnessed.

"We demonstrated against the worsening economic and fiscal crisis in the country," Promise Mkwananzi, spokesman for Tajamuka, told AFP by telephone.

"We are calling on the reserve bank of Zimbabwe governor to resign."

The police spokeswoman declined comment on the demonstration.

Zimbabwe in 2009 abandoned its own currency in favour of the US dollar due to hyperinflation.

Last year it introduced "bond notes", a parallel currency pegged to the US dollar, but recent price rises in basic goods such as cooking oil and sugar have revived fears of another inflation boom.

In 2016, a series of large street protests against the economic crisis under Mugabe were halted by a security crackdown.