On Thursday, August 15, police officials announced a prohibition on demonstrations in the capital Harare. However, leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party said that they had not received any prohibition orders and plan to carry out a peaceful mass demonstration on Friday, August 16. The march is expected to begin at 09:00 (local time) at Africa Unity Square. Local media sources reported a significantly heightened police presence in Harare on Thursday, including checkpoints on roads leading into the capital. It is possible that security forces will use force to disperse protesters on Friday. Clashes between demonstrators and police officers cannot be ruled out.
The MDC is 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.
Copyright and Disclaimer