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Zim bus drivers ‘too scared’ to travel back home due to protests

Monday’s protests in Bulawayo and Harare, which resulted following the announcement of hiked fuel prices, claimed several lives and many demonstrators were injured.

Angry protesters block the main route to Zimbabwe's capital Harare from Epworth township on 14 January 2019. Picture: AFP

NEWTOWN - Bus drivers from Zimbabwe have told Eyewitness News they are too scared to travel to their home country as fuel price protests and a crackdown continue.

Monday’s protests in Bulawayo and Harare claimed several lives and many demonstrators were injured.

Cars were torched and roads were barricaded.

Most bus companies have now suspended planned trips to Zimbabwe.

At a bus terminal in Newtown, buses stand idle and drivers sit around waiting for word on when work will resume.

A man who does not want to be identified for fear of reprisal told EWN that they can't risk entering the border with a bus full of commuters.

“We are scared. You know when there is violence, you don’t know what people think and who their targets are.”

His colleague holds a sharp makeshift knife close to him, saying this is what bus drivers keep for protection, as they don't know what awaits them on the other side."

This man adds that desperate commuters who went home on Monday night are now begging to return to South Africa.

“If there is no transport, you cannot go anywhere. They are stuck now.”

While Wednesday was planned to be the last day of the three-day shutdown, it remains to be seen if calm will be restored.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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