Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appealed for calm amid rising public anger over corruption, food shortages and rampant inflation.

Mnangagwa addressed the nation on Tuesday morning, calling for unity and patriotism to work towards rebuilding the country’s battered economy.

Security forces have cracked down on public spaces across the country earlier this week.

Law enforcement officials have been deployed to Zimbabwe’s two main cities, Harare and Bulawayo, to prevent anti-government marches called over corruption and economic hardship.

Mnangagwa has condemned the violence that has gripped the country.

“Embrace the opportunities before us with optimism and determination to transform and modernise. Our freeway is close to be productive and grow our economy. Never tear our motherland apart by dividing its people. We must proclaim from any form of attack. As the President, I vow to continue working harder to bring hope and not despair, desperation, and disunity. Let us pursue with renewed fortitude and zeal the journey we began of reforming and rebuilding our motherland,” said Mnangagwa.

EFF reacts to Zimbabwe tensions

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called for the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa to be closed, until the human rights’ situation in that country is rectified.

In a tweet, Malema said failure to close the embassy will result in the party preventing any official from the Zimbabwean government from participating in any gathering in South Africa.

In recent days, Zimbabwe has been wracked with anti-government protests against soaring inflation, corruption and poor governance as well as a strike in the healthcare sector as the number of COVID-19 patients grows.

In the video below, EFF leader Julius Malema calls for closure of Zimbabwe Embassy in SA: