Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa that “dark clouds are gathering” as Zimbabwe slides deeper into a political and economic crisis fuelled by fuel price increases and a worsening power shortage.
Writing on his official Twitter page, Chamisa warned that “the time is now upon us” when asked when the MDC will “start taking action”. “I see the cumulonimbus clouds forming,” Chamisa said in reply to another Zimbabwean who told the MDC leader it was “time to vibrate the ground”.
Chamisa added: “Can’t you see the darkening clouds gathering above you?”
This month outspoken MP and MDC Vice Chairman Job Sikhala was arrested and charged with advocating the overthrow of President Mnangagwa stemming from a video circulating on social media, in which he is heard telling supporters at a weekend rally:
“We are going to take the fight to the doorsteps of Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are going to overthrow him before 2023. That is not a joke.”
Zimbabwe hiked fuel prices on Monday for the second time in a week but most pumps remained dry, with no end in sight to shortages that are helping drive inflation rapidly higher and which have led to protests about the cost of living.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority said a litre of petrol would now cost 7.45 Zimbabwe dollars, up 22% from 6.10 dollars. Diesel now costs 7.19 a litre, a 23% rise.
With inflation soaring, economic analysts say increases in fuel prices are adding to price pressures, especially as rolling electricity cuts are forcing businesses to use expensive diesel generators to power their operations.
Diesel and petrol prices have gone up by 456% this year, in line with a slide in the value of the local RTGS currency, renamed the Zimbabwe dollar last month.
The biggest fuel price hike in January, a 150% increase, triggered violent protests by Zimbabweans. More than a dozen people were killed when the army clamped down on the unrest.