Renewing the United States’ long-standing sanctions on Zimbabwe for another year, President Donald Trump stated that “the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States”.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ongoing brutal crackdown on opposition supporters, rights defenders, labour leaders, and ordinary Zimbabweans, and recent Internet blockade, “betray promises to create a new Zimbabwe,” said the U.S. State Department in a statement issued this week.
In yet another clear manifestation of Zimbabwe’s burgeoning digital authoritarianism, the Mnangagwa regime imposed a total blockade on the Internet in a futile attempt to conceal security forces’ “systematic torture” and extrajudicial killing of more than a dozen people during last week’s protests against the president’s hiking of fuel price by 150%.
Zimbabwe security forces killed seven unarmed protesters in Harare just after the Southern African country’s first election without Robert Mugabe on the ballot. Nearly two months later, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF government continues to persecute the opposition while proposing a post-Mugabe economy that favours unfettered global capitalism.
In yet another example of the burgeoning digital authoritarianism of President Emmerson Mnangaga’s post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, police recently charged a Twitter user for retweeting a tweet parodying Priscilla Chigumba, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.