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Zimbabwe police fire teargas at student protests


imagesZimbabwe police on Tuesday fired teargas to disperse hundreds of students rallying in support of their unpaid lecturers, witnesses said.

Authorities reacted to the unrest by shutting the university for a week and ordering the campus to be evacuated.

The government has been struggling to pay many of its workers and has often resorted to delaying paydays amid deep economic troubles.

“Students are on strike at the University of Zimbabwe in solidarity with our lecturers and university staff,” student union leader Gilbert Mutubuki told AFP.

“There is no learning, the library is closed and students cannot have meals at the canteen because all the university support staff are on strike.”

Lecturers and staff at two other public universities embarked on a work stoppage last week over unpaid salaries and bonuses.

Last week’s riots over poor quality food at the country’s maximum security prison, Chikurubi, left five inmates dead.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Zimbabwe faces a “difficult” economic outlook this year as it battles to clear arrears with international lenders

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