By Peta Thornycroft, Mashonaland Central, ZIMBABWE
Chinese farmers have taken over formerly white-owned farmsfor the first time, investing millions of pounds into tobacco production.
Farms that were badly managed for nearly 20 years, after Robert Mugabe’s mass seizure of white-owned land, are now being worked again in the hope of reaping a potentially huge reward.
Zimbabwe appears headed for another social crisis as authorities have embarked on a widespread operation to destroy illegal structures in urban areas, reminiscent of the 2005 disastrous Operation Murambatsvina which left over 700 000 people homeless.
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe police armed with AK-47 rifles arrested a prominent activist and pastor on Wednesday, along with scores of others, in a harsh crackdown over protests against dramatic fuel price hikes in the economically shattered country.
As some hungry Harare residents reported being tear-gassed by police when they ventured out for bread, President Emmerson Mnangagwa denounced what he called “wanton violence and cynical destruction.” He noted a right to protest and said he understands the “pain and frustration,” but he appeared to side with authorities who blame the opposition for unrest.
Pastor Evan Mawarire was clutching a Bible when police bundled him into their car in the capital, Harare. He had organized what became nationwide anti-government protests in 2016 against mismanagement and then-President Robert Mugabe’s long stay in power.
“They are alleging that he incited violence through Twitter and other forms of social media in the central business district,” said Beatrice Mtetwa, the pastor’s lawyer.
Eighty-two people appeared in court in Harare on charges of public violence
Several people were arrested Friday in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, where a Commission of Inquiry into the killing of at least six people in Harare by the members of the armed forces soon after the July elections, was holding a meeting with residents. (Video: Annastacia Ndlovu)