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Chamisa plans to meet Putin over Zimbabwe crisis

by Sputnik
19 Aug 2019 at 21:30hrs | Views
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa intends to pay visits to Moscow and Beijing to seek help in settling the political and economic crisis gripping Zimbabwe, Russia's Sputnik news agency reported on Monday.

The situation in Zimbabwe remains tense since July 2018 when Chamisa refused to concede defeat to Emmerson Mnangagwa in a closely-fought presidential race, claiming that the result was rigged.

Zimbabwe's economy has tanked, and economists say the country is not entering hyper-inflation after inflation peaked at 176 percent in July - the highest in over a decade. Western powers, on whom Mnangagwa had banked for debt forgiveness and fresh investment, have held back after the Zimbabwe government cracked down on protesters in August last year and January this year. Rights groups say two dozen activists were killed in the anti-government protests.

Most recently, the opposition had to call off its mass demonstrations in Harare and Bulawayo after police issued prohibition orders which the MDC says are unconstitutional.

In Harare last Friday, hundreds of protesters defied the decision, prompting the police to use tear gas and truncheons to disperse crowds. Nearly 100 people were arrested.

"The [MDC] president is open and has plans to travel to major international centres, including Moscow and Beijing, some capitals in Europe and the West, just to highlight the extent of the problem in terms of how the problem is man-made and how the problem is costing millions of lives and has threatened food security for millions of people," Nkululeko Sibanda told Sputnik.

According to Sibanda, the economic situation in the country is unprecedentedly fragile.

"In just a few weeks, I'm told, we would completely run out of electricity. And we haven't got money to buy electricity from other countries like we have done in other years when there was a drought.

"The situation has been made worse as in the last twelve months we have lost about $3 billion to corruption in one transaction. It means that the country doesn't have money to pay for electricity, the country doesn't have money to pay for food," he argued.

Zimbabwe's opposition believes that Mnangagwa's government is not much different from the one of Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years.

Along with blaming the incumbent government for pressuring the opposition, the MDC is also highly critical of the economic situation in the country, which is one of the poorest in the world.

Source - Sputnik