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Mass Stay Away Leads to Company Closures in Mutare

Schoolchildren return home from school after teachers boycotted their lessons, in the capital following a job boycott started via social media platforms, in Harare, Wednesday, July,6, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Mutare city resembled a deserted town with only a few shops open and commuter omnibus operators, who wanted to make fast cash, reporting poor business.

School children and workers stayed at home and there was a high police presence in most suburbs in this eastern border town.

Mutare resident, Patrick Manungo, said the protests Wednesday, which are a follow-up to similar action by commuter omnibus operators and unrest in Beitbridge and some parts of Harare last week, are a sign that all is not well in Zimbabwe.

A commuter omnibus driver, Rueben Dirwai, said he failed to reach his daily takings of $50 per day as there were no commuters.

There was low business today most people did not go to work and we usually carry school children and they did not go to school. This made us to hike our fares as well to make up but this did not help much; by mid-morning we had not met our usual target.

A Mutare worker, Obert Makoni, said he failed to get to work, adding that his children stayed at home as they were advised by education officials that teachers were not going to report for duty.

"We were at the bus stop by 7am but there was no transport to take us to school and town and only those available were for other areas. At the end we had to board twice and it was expensive for my family."

Mutare based-human rights lawyer, Passmore Nyakureba, who is with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, applauded the citizens' actions, stressing that local people are now fighting for their rights.

Report on Mutare Protests Filed By Loirdham Moyo
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