Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who went on a foreign tour immediately after announcing a massive hike in the prices of petrol and kerosene, has decided to cut short his tour in wake of violent protests in the country saying he wanted “to get Zimbabwe calm, stable and working again”.
His five-nation European tour kicked off with Russia followed by Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Mnangagwa was to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, but he has decided to scrap the plan and return back to Zimbabwe. The World Economic Forum will be held between 22 and 25 January 2019.
“In light of the economic situation, I will be returning home after a highly productive week of bilateral trade and investment meetings,” Mnangagwa said on Twitter on Sunday, reported Aljazeera.
“We will be ably represented in Davos by Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube”, Mnangagwa said.
Violent demonstrations erupted across Zimbabwe earlier this month after Mnangagwa announced petrol prices would more than double in a country that is already plagued by daily shortages of banknotes, fuel, food, and medicine.
According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, which recorded more than 240 incidents of assault and torture, at least 12 people were killed and 78 treated for gunshot injuries over the last week. About 700 people have been arrested, the internet has been temporarily shut down twice, and social media remain largely blocked since last Monday.
The UN has criticized the Zimbabwean government’s reaction to the protests. The international body has asked the government to stop the crackdown and voiced alarm over the excessive use of force and live ammunition by the security forces to curb the ongoing protests. It has called out Zimbabwe’s government to find ways of engaging with the population about their legitimate grievances.