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Zimbabwe News Alert

Zimbabwe: National general strike called for June 20-25

Radical opposition group Tajamuka/Sesijikile calls for nationwide strike June 20-25; increased security measures likely

20 Jun 09:46 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/20/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/26/2017, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

Event

The radical opposition group Tajamuka/Sesijikile has called for a nationwide strike to take place from Tuesday, June 20, through Sunday, June 25. The group is advocating for a total shutdown during these six days to pressure President Robert Mugabe into taking action to combat the country’s ongoing economic crisis. The group called on the population to close all shops and schools, avoid being on the roads, remain at home, and to stock up on basic needs (including prepaid electricity tokens) to last through the duration of the strike.

Context

The Zimbabwean economy is in the midst of a worsening recession, due in part to a lack of liquidity, and protests are common. In July 2016, the Tajamuka group, along with other opposition groups, organized a similar strike, which was violently repressed by the government.

Zimbabweans are often forced to wait long hours outside of banks to withdraw cash and the government is currently struggling to pay civil servants. While a "bond note" officially pegged to the US dollar was created last year to combat hyperinflation, its value is nonetheless falling quickly and they are not easily convertible into actual dollars. This has prevented businesses from using the notes to pay for imported goods. The shortage of dollar reserves caused banks to limit withdrawals to USD 50 a day at the end of 2016, a measure still in effect.

Advice

Individuals in Zimbabwe are advised to monitor development to the situation, avoid any possible demonstrations due to the potential for violence, and to anticipate heightened security measures.

 

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