Closed shops, banks and deserted streets were the scenes of Harare on Wednesday as Zimbabweans staged a national protest against the government.
Citizens in Zimbabwe largely stayed within their homes in a national “stay-away” day known as Shutdown Zimbabwe 2016.
Activists hoping to force the government to address the nation’s economic meltdown, called for citizens to stay away from work.
The Zimbabwe shutdown comes as teachers, doctors and nurses strike to protest their unpaid June salaries.
Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed in February 2009 and the currency became virtually worthless. Following collapse, the country adopted a multicurrency system which is dominated by the U.S. dollar.
Empty streets created a sense of unease On Wednesday as people stayed home because they feared that they might find it difficult walking back or get stranded t given that on Monday it turned violent.
Zimbabwe police revealed that about 50 people had been arrested in connection with the protests Wednesday.
There were reports of sporadic violence, with teargas and some looting in Harare on Monday. On Friday, a warehouse was burned down on Zimbabwe’s border with South Africa in protest of recent import restrictions on basic goods. Zimbabwe has once been a breadbasket of southern Africa, but now depends mainly on imports.