The Civil Service Apex Council, a union that represents around 500,000 Zimbabwean civil servants, is calling for a nationwide strike starting on Friday, January 25. Union leaders announced in the days prior after salary negotiations with the government failed. As of Thursday, January 24, it is unclear if associated demonstrations are planned. However, rallies by civil servants are likely in major urban areas, including the capital Harare. Heightened security measures and a significantly increased security presence is expected around any protest site. Disruptions to government services and clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Tensions have been high in Zimbabwe after a week of violent unrest and a corresponding government crackdown that resulted in at least 12 deaths and over 600 arrests, according to rights groups. Protests broke out after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on January 12 that fuel prices would increase by more than 100 percent in the coming weeks to tackle decreasing fuel supplies. Nationwide fuel shortages have been ongoing over the past month due to importers' inability to secure foreign currency amid a long-running currency crisis. The country has been experiencing a deteriorating economic situation for more than a year.
Individuals present in Zimbabwe are advised to monitor developments to the situation, to avoid all protests, and to adhere to any instructions issued by their home governments. Due to the ongoing fuel shortage, it is recommended that travelers fill up fuel tanks whenever gasoline is available, ensure a sufficient fuel supply before embarking on long journeys, and postpone nonessential travel until the situation stabilizes. It is also advisable to be vigilant at gas stations, where confrontations between drivers are possible. Those planning travel to Zimbabwe are advised to bring a sufficient reserve of US dollars due to the ongoing currency crisis in-country.
Copyright and Disclaimer