Protestors gather on the streets in Zimbabwe during demonstrations over the hike in fuel prices. The increases were announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the weekend. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Harare ‑ Four people were feared dead on Monday while more than 20 people were treated for gunshot wounds as violent protests swept through Zimbabwe after government increased the price of fuel.

On Saturday night, President Emmerson Mnangagwa hiked the fuel with over 100 percent, triggering protests.

Two people were reportedly shot in the populous high-density suburb of Harare, with another one in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, about 30km south of the capital.

The fourth person was reportedly shot in Epworth.

The protestors barricaded several roads in both Harare and Bulawayo using boulders, burning tyres and logs. Businesses that opened for the day were shut down at around 11 am.

The protests turned violent, with those travelling into town being beaten up and made to disembark from all public transport.

Over the weekend, Zimbabwe’s biggest labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) called for a national strike after severe cash shortages plunged the economy into disarray.

Police and the military were monitoring the situation.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said it had treated around 20 people by sunset.

“The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has received widespread reports of protesters who have sustained gunshot wounds after being shot during the ongoing nationwide protests … The extent of the injuries and the exact number of casualties is still being assessed,” the human rights doctors said.

ZCTU called for a national stay-away from Monday to Wednesday.

Official numbers for the deceased and injured were not immediately available.

African News Agency/ANA