Zimbabwe cuts internet indefinitely amid violent crackdown

Zimbabwe cuts internet indefinitely amid violent crackdown

Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube said people whose property was destroyed and goods looted should quantify damages and report to the nearest police stations.

They include activist pastor Evan Mawarire, who appeared in court on Friday for magistrates to rule if he has a case to answer on charges of subverting the government. He remains in detention through the weekend.

Mawarire's lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had argued that facts presented by the prosecution did not disclose an offense.

She notes the burning of buildings and reports of looting.

Mnangagwa is set to plead for more worldwide investment in Zimbabwe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for restraint by the Zimbabwe authorities.

Zimbabweans had briefly rejoiced when Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe, who was forced out in late 2017, thinking the new president would deliver on his refrain that the country "is open for business".

He announced the fuel price increase on the eve of his overseas trip, leaving hardline former military commander and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as acting president.

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Zimbabwe's biggest mobile operator Econet Wireless said on Friday the government had ordered it to shut down its internet services until further notice following days of deadly protests over steep fuel price hikes. Children as young as 9 have reportedly been tortured as security forces break into private homes, it said.

Referring to allegations of night-time door-to-door searches against demonstrators and beatings by police, United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said hospital medics had treated more than 60 people for gunshot wounds.

"The atrocities happening in Zimbabwe have drawn our attention as a civil society organisation and we can not just sit and fold our arms seeing the amount of repression under the hands of the army and local police", Nkosi said.

Evan Mawarire must remain in detention over the weekend, and his lawyer says she will apply on Monday for bail. "The ruling party's obsession with power has led to the militarization of the Zimbabwean state".

"We condemn any disproportionate use of force and call on Zimbabwe's security forces to respond to civil unrest professionally and with respect for human life and constitutional rights".

One nurse attended to a man with a broken spine. The security guard tells the AP a group of uniformed soldiers attacked him at work.

Other hungry Harare residents who ventured out seeking food have reported being tear-gassed by police.

"We call on the Government to find ways of engaging with the population about their legitimate grievances and to stop the crackdown against protesters", a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

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