Zimbabwe court upholds police ban on protest

Legal royalty … Chivayo meeting top lawyers Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi in Johannesburg this week

"The regime is baying for blood", said Masaraure, who has been arrested five times since December and has been charged with subversion. Hundreds were injured as police indiscriminately beat up both protesters and innocent by-standers, forcing businesses to shut down.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) took the decision after a judge upheld the ban on Friday morning. The regime has also deployed a huge police contingent at both the Africa Unity Square and the MDC headquarters. "President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been on record calling political players to come to the table and present their ideas that will benefit the nation, he has an open door policy", he said.

In the spirit of building bridges, Mnangagwa said he offered Chamisa an official position as the leader of the opposition and invited him to join the national inclusive dialogue of all political leaders which he spurned. "It's as if Mugabe is back".

"Mugabe had become a toddler when it comes to the kind of brutality that we are seeing.in terms of just the magnitude of abuse and heavy handedness".

Opposition MDC spokesperson Daniel Molekele addressing the press yesterday said all is set for the tomorrow's nationwide demonstration aimed at addressing all challenges the country is now facing.

An MDC attempt to challenge the ban in court was then rejected.

Police combed Harare's streets rounding up suspected MDC supporters, after using batons and a water cannon to break up the anti-government protest that authorities had declared illegal.

"There is no difference between Mnangagwa and Mugabe". ".We have jumped from the frying pan into the fire after the coup of November 2017".

Upon taking office, Mnangagwa had vowed to revive Zimbabwe's economy, but people in the country say things have gone from bad to worse amid shortages of basic goods and skyrocketing prices.

The World Food Program said this month that nearly a third of the country's 16 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

Heavily armed police have cordoned off all the major roads leading into the city centre. Whilst the Zimbabwe Republic Police are still investigating these allegations and establishing their veracity, government would like to inform the public of the following: "torture, arbitrary punishment and degrading treatment of citizens by anyone is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and ethos of the Second Republic", said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Nick Mangwana.

Ahead of Friday's demonstrations, a coalition of rights groups said six Zimbabwean political activists were abducted from their homes at night and beaten by armed men this week. The party has been making statements to that effect and Mr Chamisa reiterated that position yesterday when he addressed the media in Harare after the protests in the capital failed.

He said: "We are not going to allow any nonsense". A lot of people think it's instant coffee, it must be a walk in the park. No!

The protests would have been the first since rallies against fuel price increases in January led to deadly clashes with troops, in which 12 people were killed.

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