Pressured by government, Zimbabwe opposition calls off Harare protest


If we had chosen to be confrontational, there would have been blood on the streets. Mnangagwa then went on to win a closely fought and contested election promising investment, transparency and "good days ahead" for the former British colony.

In an attempt to prevent the protest from taking place, police officers clashed with protesters. The MDC leader has said he sit down only if there is a neutral arbiter.

"Government calls on all progressive Zimbabweans to desist from being used by negative forces to destabilize their own country, as this will only prolong the hardships which the government is tirelessly trying to address in a more sustainable manner", she said.

Police said in a statement that 91 people were arrested for various offences.

The opposition was determined to continue with the demonstrations, said MDC spokesman Daniel Molokele, adding that a High Court judge would preside over the party's application from 7am (0500 GMT).

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says the victims were accused of mobilising people to demonstrate. "We are telling Mnangagwa to be gone".

More than 100 MDC supporters defied that before being chased by baton-wielding officers from a city square.

Police also directed tear gas at journalists.

Along with blaming the incumbent government for pressuring the opposition, the MDC is also highly critical of the economic situation in the country, which is one of the poorest in the world.

Mnangagwa, 77, came to power with promises of sweeping political and economic reforms.

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They got engaged again in 2016 and tied the knot in a surprise ceremony last December. The couple split earlier this month - and revealed they were never legally married.

The current president swept to power in November 2017 after long-time leader Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup.

Chamisa is callling police brutality in the country an worldwide embarrassment.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa has more from Harare. On Friday, the apparatus of state was out in force again and the city's streets were unusually quiet.

Heavily armed police have cordoned off all the major roads leading into the city centre.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, seen in May in South Africa, rose to the presidential office after Robert Mugabe was removed from the office following a decades-long dictatorship.

"The woman was taken to hospital and efforts are underway to establish her condition", he said.

Cain Mathema, minister for home affairs, warned earlier this week that police were ready to deal with "unruly elements who want to cause alarm and despondency in the country". "We are exhausted, enough is enough", MDC member Patience Gurure told Reuters moments before police dispersed the group.

Anger is mounting over triple-digit inflation, rolling power cuts and shortages of US dollars, fuel and bread - bringing back memories of the hyperinflation of a decade ago that forced Zimbabwe to ditch its currency.

President Emmerson
Mnangagwa urged the opposition to engage in dialogue, but at the same time his government pushed parliament to quickly adopt new security legislation branded repressive. "Riots [and] destructive violence must be rejected; peaceful constructive dialogue are the way forward", he said in a statement. Chamisa said he was not going to get into power by walking over the dead bodies of innocent civilians suffering because of mis-governance and a stolen election.