Harare Demonstrations Update: Today Zimbabwe police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters and activists who took to the streets to vent their anger against the introduction of a new currency in the capital.
zwnews.com has received reports of skirmishes involving police and protesters near Construction house.
Some shops and banks near the vicinity of the clashes temporarily closed and resumed business later once the streets were cleared.
Choppies shop owned by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko was shut around mid morning hours.
Protesters carried placards on Wednesday and chanted slogans denouncing the new currency, called bond notes, which they fear will become worthless because of economic mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe’s government and his Zanu PF ruling party
“No to fake money,” read one poster.
People waiting in line at banks to get cash in downtown Harare scurried for cover from the tear gas and blasts of water.
The economically troubled southern African country introduced the bond notes on Monday, the first time Zimbabwe had its own currency since 2009, when hyperinflation reached 500 billion percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. At that time there were 100 trillion dollar notes in circulation.
Speaking about the new money, outspoken opposition politician Tendai Biti warned Mugabe that inflation and shortages would make life unbearable under the new currency.
Biti mourned the lack of productivity and exports as Zimbabwe is now over relying on importations without necessary financial and banking facilities to meet the full costs of doing business across borders.
He pointed to the shrinking economy since 2013 and the ever increasing debt as a warning for worse things to come.
Today’s protests were organised by Tajamuka activists and youths from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change(MDC).