Leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party have called off a planned demonstration in Harare as of Friday, August 16, after police officials announced a ban on demonstrations in the capital. A heightened security presence has been reported in Harare and its surrounding areas, including checkpoints on roads leading into the capital.
Renewed calls for opposition protests, notably by the MDC, remain possible over the coming days despite this development.
The MDC aimed at holding the rally to denounce the perceived corruption of government, as well as high unemployment rates, and a deteriorating economy. Opposition supporters are also calling for the release of six political activists who were allegedly abducted from their homes earlier in the week. Human rights groups have accused government security agents of detaining and beating the activists ahead of the August 16 protest.
Individuals in Harare are advised to monitor the situation, avoid any related public demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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