Zimbabwe is in a state of chaos. There’s hardly any money circulating, bread is in short supply, and never-ending fuel queues snake through all cities and towns. And for Zimbabweans who hoped this would be as gloomy as it gets, things took a turn for the worse last week, when a three-day stayaway escalated into unrest, mainly in high-density suburbs around Harare and the country’s second city, Bulawayo. Things soured in mid-January when, during an 8pm television news bulletin, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a 150% fuel price increase. This pushed the price of petrol out of reach of 90% of the population. Just hours later, he boarded an expensive chartered flight to Russia. In Mnangagwa’s absence, vice-president Constantino Chiwenga, a retired general and former head of the armed forces, stepped up to the plate. It was he who sent in the army after the usually impotent Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions — an ally of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) — called ...

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