As the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) began to implement the new law at the border, people barricaded the roads and stopped vehicles from moving forcing the closure of the border post. By the end of the day, a ZIMRA warehouse had been torched.
While government has blamed â€œthird forceâ€ for last weekâ€™s event which saw police watching as residents expressed their anger, the development has been applauded by many citizens.
â€œWe applaud the Zimbabweans who rose up in Beitbridge on Friday to protest against the ban on imports of basic commodities by the evil Zanu PF government,â€ said a statement from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC party.
It added: â€œIn our considered view this brave and courageous act is a direct result of what happens when the masses have been pushed too far. The people use the only language Robert Mugabe and his party can ever understand. For too long have the people played docile while this government has done nothing but take them for fools.â€
The MDC said the ban, like all Zanu PF government policies, was an ill thought out decision designed to bring further misery upon the people.
â€œThousands of Zimbabweans rely on imported goods due to the collapse of the manufacturing sector and industry caused by government’s failure and incompetence,â€ said MDC spokesman, Kurauone Chihwayi.
He added: â€œThanks to the shortage of jobs in the country, with more than 90per cent of the population not formerly employed, thousands of people had turned to cross border trading via the Beitbridge border post as a source of livelihood.
â€œWhat the regime is doing is akin to taking the food out of people’s mouths when it cannot feed them.â€
The MDC said it stood â€œin solidarity with the brave Zimbabweans who rose up in Beitbridge and did something about this injusticeâ€, adding that the Friday event was just the â€œbeginning of bigger problemsâ€ for President Mugabe and Zanu PF.
The party said the chaos was also a â€œreflection of the deep anger and discontentâ€ being felt by millions of Zimbabweans towards the â€œfailed regimeâ€.
â€œWe would like to warn the regime that such acts of civil unrest will continue to break out throughout the country as long as it continues to abuse and terrorise its citizens. President Mugabe must admit he has completely failed to govern this country and it is time for him to surrender. There is no greater power like people power,â€ the statement said.
â€œThe people are clearly sick and tired of the Zanu PF government playing dice with their lives. We have no doubt that right now as the country is burning President Mugabe and his family are sitting comfortably watching the news from the comfort of their homes in Singapore or Dubai.â€
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha has said government will not relent to pressure from protesters. This comes after South African business people also protested the ban saying the ban was going to suffocate their businesses which have relied on Zimbabweans for decades.
But the MDC said Bimha was â€œtake a deep breath, look himselfÂ in the mirror and consider the repercussions of his directiveâ€.
The MDC-T on Saturday also expressed its â€œconcernâ€ over the chaos, adding that the ban was likely going to destroy many peopleâ€™s livelihoods as they depended on imports from neighbouring countries.
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