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Jewish community tense as Zimbabwe erupts in violence

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As violent protests broke out in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Wednesday, members of the local Jewish community expressed their concern. “It is very, very worrying. Some of our people live within 3km of the results centre. We are totally disrupted in the city centre,” said Harare Jewish community leader Arnold Joffe. These community members could be reached if needed, but it was risky, he said.
by TALI FEINBERG | Aug 02, 2018

Protests broke out on Wednesday afternoon, and by Wednesday evening, one protestor had been shot dead. Cars were set alight, while soldiers and police clashed with protestors.

MDC supporters were protesting after Zanu-PF won the majority of seats in Parliament, and the presidential election results were delayed. “This has angered unemployed youths, most of whom voted for [the MDC alliance’s candidate] Chamisa,” said the MDC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dennis Murira, in a WhatsApp to the SA Jewish Report.

“People here believe the army has stolen the election. Youths therefore marched peacefully, calling for the release of the presidential results. The army then opened fire on unarmed civilians.” Murira sent photos of severely wounded protestors.

Arnold Joffe believes that the violent protests are an expression of frustration. “The country desperately needs change. Please understand it is not a matter of which party wins, but a total winding down of endemic corruption.”

Writing to the SA Jewish Report from Bulawayo, Leah Louth said: “Right now we need to be holding the ordinary Zimbabweans in our prayers, as they take to the streets to find their voices – the same streets that were so peaceful and happy in November [when Mugabe resigned.]”

BBC Africa said that the youth of Zimbabwe wanted good governance, access to healthcare, and fair and decent work, to which expat Joey Hasson tweeted: “Powerful expressions of hope from the youth. But the old guard and their cronies are going to have to be cleared away before any of this happens, unfortunately.”

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