The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has called for a protest in Bulawayo on Monday, August 19. Organizers did not immediately announce a time or location. Police officials have said that they will deploy a heavy presence around the city during the protest, according to local media outlets, and urged people to refrain from participating.
A heightened security presence is expected in Bulawayo and its surrounding areas, as well as transportation and business disruptions. Further protests are possible in other cities such as in Gweru, Mutare, and Masvingo in the coming days.
The MDC aimed at holding a mass 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.
On August 16, clashes were reported between protesters and security forces, with police using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Individuals in Bulawayo 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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