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Zimbabwe 'Shuts Down' in Massive National Protest

Zimbabweans on Thursday engaged in a national protest to show their anger over the current harsh economic situation in the country.

Zimbabweans on Wednesday heeded a call by civic society leaders to stay home to show their anger over the current social and economic problems faced by citizens.

Our correspondents report that people stayed at home while others had running battles with the police in Zimbabwe's two largest cities, Harare and Bulawayo.

Business entities, including banks, departmental stores and several others, shut down. A few restaurants were reportedly open in Harare early in the morning before they also stopped operating.

Several people in Harare's Mufakose high density suburb, who staged street protests calling President Mugabe to step down, were arrested and taken to a nearby police station.

The situation is the same in Mutare, Gwanda, Chinhoyi, Masvingo and Gweru.

Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag movement and youth calling themselves Tajamuka-Sesijikile called for a nationwide stay away to press President Mugabe's government to address serious issues affecting the people.

They include the proposed introduction of bond notes, the disappearance of $15 billion in diamond revenues, human rights abuses and the government's failure to pay civil servants June salaries.

They also want President Mugabe to step down for allegedly failing to properly run Zimbabwe and for the state to find abducted political activist, Itai Dzamara.

Indications are that WhatsApp, mostly used by protest leaders and common people, has not been working well in the country today. The messaging application is slow and at times not functional.