Zimbabwe leader Emmerson Mnangagwa: ‘Heads will roll’ after brutal crackdown on protesters

The Zimbabwe president says he will investigate the alleged torture of demonstrators after unrest over steep fuel price rises.

Source: Zimbabwe leader Emmerson Mnangagwa: ‘Heads will roll’ after brutal crackdown on protesters – Sky News

People arrested during protests wait to appear at magistrates' court in Harare
People arrested during protests wait to appear at magistrates’ court in Harare

Zimbabwe’s president has vowed “heads will roll” if he finds wrongdoing by security forces after a brutal crackdown on protesters in the African country.

Emmerson Mnangagwa says he will investigate reports of violence against demonstrators after the country’s human rights commission said they were “systematically tortured”.

Human rights groups say at least a dozen people were killed amid protests over a steep rise in fuel prices, prompting fears that Zimbabwe is sliding back into authoritarian rule.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Image:Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short an overseas trip after the unrest
Zimbabwe's capital Hararer has seen violent protests in recent days
Image:Zimbabwe’s capital Harare has seen violent protests in recent days

Police have so far only confirmed three deaths.

After cutting short an overseas tour due to unrest in his home country, Mr Mnangagwa said violence by security forces was “unacceptable and a betrayal of the new Zimbabwe”.

“Chaos and insubordination will not be tolerated,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Misconduct will be investigated. If required, heads will roll.”

 An arrested injured man is seen at a hospital following protests in Harare
Image:An arrested man shows his injuries after protests

Mr Mnangagwa said he defended people’s right to demonstrate but said “this was not a peaceful protest”.

“Wanton violence and cynical destruction; looting police stations, stealing guns and uniforms; incitement and threats of violence,” he said.

“This is not the Zimbabwean way.”

President of Zimbabwe


I invite leaders of all political parties as well as religious and civil leaders to set aside our differences and come together. What unites us is stronger than what could ever divide us. Let’s begin a national dialogue. Let’s put the economy first. Let’s put the people first 4/4

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Protests erupted last week after Mr Mnangagwa – nicknamed The Crocodile – announced fuel prices would more than double, making Zimbabwe’s petrol the most expensive in the world.

His government has blamed the unrest on the opposition, despite witness accounts of security forces opening fire on crowds and killing or wounding bystanders, including a 17-year-old.

More than 600 people were arrested for alleged public order offences, including at least four politicians from the opposition MDC party.

Police patrol in Harare, Zimbabwe
Image:Hundreds of people were arrested over the protests

The Zimbabwe government also blocked access to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and the messaging service WhatsApp.

Evan Mawarire, a pastor who rose to prominence as a critic of former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe, is among those detained and faces a possible 20-year prison sentence on a subversion charge.

Mr Mawarire’s lawyer said more than 400 people had been denied bail and described the case against his client as a “travesty of justice”.

Before winning a contested election in July, Mr Mnangagwa promised a clean break with the 37-year rule of Mugabe, who used security forces to quell civilian protests before being forced out in a de facto coup in November 2017.

The MDC says Mr Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe ally, is now overseeing a return to authoritarian rule by using the same tactics.


  • comment-avatar
    Eamonn Oliver 3 years ago

    Lying to the people of Zimbabwe is the ZanuPF way isn’t it Mr President. If you are going to blame the assaults, torture and killings on fellow Zimbabweans claiming they stole the guns and uniforms then it shows you are a coward. Afraid to admit that you know no other way of controlling things. I suppose they also stole the vehicles that they travelled around in to carry out these vile deeds. Did they also switch off the internet access to ensure that they could carry out these deeds without the international community seeing what was going on. Your own population may be stupid enough to believe these pathetic lies, but the rest of the world can see straight through it all. Go on form another committee to investigate these atrocities so they can figure out how to blame it on anyone but the ruling elite who are desperate to hang on to power to enrich themselves. How pathetic. What kind of wimp are you. If heads are going to roll start from the top. Yours would be a good start followed by your snivelling generals. Or if you really have any balls then let the ICC in The Hague carry out the investigation. These are crimes against humanity and you should be ashamed of yourself. 

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 3 years ago

    We now wait and see “What Mr Ed ” will do! When’s the next election?