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Zimbabwean protesters burn tyres, block roads over fuel price hike

Protesters in Zimbabwe on Monday barricaded the main roads into major cities to protest a fuel price hike announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A protesters burns tyres on a road during a “stay-away” demonstration against the doubling of fuel prices on January 14, 2019 in Emakhandeni township, Bulawayo. – Zimbabwe’s President on January 12 announced a more than 100 percent rise in the price of petrol and diesel in a move to improve supplies as the country struggles with its worst fuel shortages in a decade. In the city of Bulawayo, demonstrators attacked minibuses heading to the city centre and used burning tyres and stones to block the main routes into town. (Photo by Zinyange AUNTONY / AFP)

According to video footage from the Centre for Innovation & Technology, police fired teargas to disperse youths protesting outside the high court in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo.

READ ALSO: Macron bows to protesters, PM set to stop fuel tax hikes

In the southern city of Bulawayo, commuter bus drivers and touts blocked thoroughfares with burning tyres, tree branches, and blocks of stone.

Riot police tried to quell demonstrations in the western suburbs of Emakhandeni and Luveve, firing warning shots and tear gas but the protesters remained defiant.

Demonstrator Glen Ncube, 25, expressed anger at the president’s announcement on Saturday of a 150 per cent fuel price increase and the police actions.

“What kind of a man does this? Can Mnangagwa even be called a president? He’s making life hard for us and these police are trying to stop us as if they don’t know our pain,’’ Ncube said.

The government has vowed it “will not hesitate to take action” against protesters who threaten to destabilise the country and the military was deployed to assist police.

Report says Zimbabwe is going through its worst economic crisis in a decade.

The government announced an increase from 1.34 dollars for a litre of petrol to 3.31 dollars with diesel surging to 3.11 dollars per litre, igniting widespread discontent.

A three-day nationwide shutdown was called by workers’ trade unions in protest.

The action came shortly after junior doctors ended a 40-day strike demanding salaries in US dollars and better working conditions. (Reuters/NAN)

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