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Zimbabwe fuel protest: activist pastor arrested, charged with inciting violence


Armed police in Zimbabwe have arrested a political activist at his home on Wednesday, his lawyer said.

It comes as protests against fuel price hikes enters day 3 Wednesday. Evan Mawarire, a Harare pastor, rose to prominence as a critic of former leader, Robert Mugabe.

Beatrice Mtetwa is lawyer for Evan Mawarire.

“They are alleging that he has incited violence through twitter and other forms of social media particularly in the central business district. We have asked for full particulars, when, how, they said they don’t know and will give that at the police station. We have asked how asking for people to stay away can constitute incitement to violence, but of course this is the new dispensation guys”, she said.

Businesses and schools remain closed while mobile telecom networks enforce a government internet shut down in this Southern African nation.

“I cannot say the stay away has been successful but at the end of the day we await to hear what the government will do because the people have spoken, they were not happy and up to now they are still in fear”, said Harare resident, Ronald Gwasira.

“The way it looks people want to go to work but unfortunately it seems the transport operators are not willing to take them”, said Terrence Gumbi, another resident.

Wednesday is the third and final day of stay-at-home protests called by unions in response to the steep hike in fuel prices.

Mawarire, who led a national shutdown in 2016, told Reuters police had surrounded his house after he used Facebook posts to urge Zimbabweans to heed the unions’ calls.


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