ZIMBABWEANS should expect the worst in 2016 as government has failed to address the socio-economic challenges facing the country, a local human rights group has said.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said failure by Zanu PF to improve the economy would lead to a series of demonstrations across the country and intensified suppression of human rights by government.
“As the economy continues on a downward trend, disgruntlement among ordinary Zimbabweans reeling under poverty can only get worse and this raises fears of an increased clampdown on human rights by the government,” the coalition said.
“Opposition parties and other pressure groups have threatened to engage in massive protests to force the government to deliver, while, on the other hand, law enforcement agents, who have come under fire for serving partisan interests, have warned stern action against ‘any form of unsanctioned protests’.”
CiZC added: “With prospects of economic recovery seemingly deem (although government has pinned its hopes on the much-touted mega deals with foreigners), Zimbabweans can only hope for the best, but expect the worst.”
The coalition said at least 2,5 million people were in urgent need of food aid while government requires at least $260 million to import the staple maize ahead of the impending drought.
“The crisis that Zimbabwe is battling is largely attributable to poor governance, democratic deficits and political challenges,” the group said.
“The year 2015 proved to be a tough one for the majority of Zimbabweans who had to bear the brunt of a struggling economy that was characterised by liquidity challenges, industry closures that culminated in massive job losses and retrenchments that claimed an estimated 28 000 jobs.”