Hundreds of women in Mutare and other parts of the eastern Zimbabwe province of Manicaland have embarked on street protests, beating pots with wooden utensils in the evening to indicate that they do not have food to cook for their families.
Such demonstrations have been taking place every evening at supper hour in Mutare, the provincial capital, and nearby towns such as Nyazura and Rusape, sources in the region said, adding that there have also been spontaneous protests by small groups.
A source in the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai said the party was organizing the demonstrations to "test the waters." Tsvangirai has been promising since March to organize mass protests. But aside from one march in Harare in early September his MDC faction has been outdone by civic groups and organized labor, which brought off high-profile protests later last month.
Resident Monica Nyashanu of the Mutare suburb of Chikanga has taken part in the protests. She said they are about bread-and-butter issues, not politics.
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