Zimbabwe police have banned a planned protest by the country’s main opposition party MDC in the city of Bulawayo, saying it would likely result in “public disorder”.
Paul Nyathi, the spokesman for the police, told reporters on Sunday that a “prohibition order” was issued in Bulawayo “due to security concerns”.
The Monday protest was over worsening economic conditions and the jailing of Chief Ndiweni, a known critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Nyathi said various business groups had appealed to the high court “not to allow the march to proceed as a number of these organisations lost their properties in January when similar protests were held”.
In a notice banning the demonstration, the police added: “Ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing hardships so any call for the demonstrations might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence may erupt.”
Despite Mnangagwa’s campaign promise to revive the economy, Zimbabweans say things have gone from bad to worse with shortages of bread, fuel, medical drugs and other goods and the skyrocketing cost of living.
According to the United Nations, about five million Zimbabweans need food aid.
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