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Zimbabwean president cancels Davos trip to deal with dissent back home

Zimbabwean president cancels Davos trip to deal with dissent back home

The president is to attend the Davos summit of world leaders in Switzerland this week.

On Sunday, the government said the security forces' actions were just "a foretaste of things to come". His Davos visit a year ago came shortly after he took over from longtime, repressive leader Robert Mugabe, a move cheered by Zimbabweans and the worldwide community.

Mnangagwa is expected to return to Zimbabwe after visiting Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in an effort to drum up investment for his economically crippled nation.

On Sunday, Mnangagwa said he would be returning home, without going to Davos, where he would be replaced by Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube. He said his first priority "is to get Zimbabwe calm, stable and working again".

The country has been rocked by deadly protests, with demonstrators taking to the streets after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a 150% fuel price hike.

He flew to Russian Federation soon after making that announcement in a televised address to the nation.

On Monday police arrested Japhet Moyo, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which called for a stay-at-home strike last week in conjunction with the fuel protest.

Shamdasani says there are worrying reports of security forces mounting night raids in peoples' homes, beating them up, and generally intimidating and harassing them.

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And it called on Zimbabwe's government "to find ways of engaging with the population about their legitimate grievances".

With evidence growing that the country is slipping back into authoritarian rule, critics of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government had accused it of shutting off the internet to prevent a security clampdown being broadcast to the world.

Zimbabweans, who have seen their purchasing power eroded by soaring inflation, also say Mnangagwa has not delivered on pre-election pledges to kick-start economic growth after Mugabe's exit.

But the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Mnangagwa was similar in outlook.

Charamba said the MDC leadership and affiliate organizations would be "held fully accountable for the violence and the looting".

The government had hoped the cash would help stabilise the economy and resolve fuel shortages in the country. "We remain committed to peace in solving the challenge that triggered the turmoil".

On Thursday, Mr Chamisa tweeted that his thoughts were "with the victims of violence".

"We are anxious with the deterioration of the situation caused by the potential use of excessive violence in confronting the demonstrations in Zimbabwe", Guterres told a news conference in NY on Friday.