On Monday, August 26, police forces issued a ban on opposition demonstrations scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 29, and Friday, August 30 in Bulawayo and other provinces. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which accuses President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government of repression and economic mismanagement, has been prevented from holding protests the past week due to security concerns. Heightened security measures are to be expected on both dates in Bulawayo; if protesters take to the streets despite the ban, clashes between protesters and security forces are likely.
Similar protests are possible nationwide over the near term.
Security forces notably used tear gas to disperse a demonstration held in the capital Harare on August 16 after protesters defied a police ban.
The MDC intend to denounce perceived government corruption, 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 in mid-August. Human rights groups accused government security agents of detaining and beating the activists ahead of the August 16 protest.
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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