Soldiers and police deployed in large numbers in Bulawayo on Monday morning to enforce a ban on an anti-government demonstration, as the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC sought to overturn that decision in court.
Authorities had also banned Friday’s gathering in Harare, intended as the launch event of a nationwide protest movement.
The MDC called it off, saying it aimed to avert bloodshed after police there rounded up its followers and dispersed them with batons and water cannon.
In a similar show of force in Bulawayo, an MDC heartland, authorities prohibited the march on Sunday and on Monday sent soldiers in trucks into the center of the city and nearby townships, bolstering police who patrolled on foot and lorries, witnesses said.
Businesses remained open and residents circulated as normal in the city, however.
David Coltart, an MDC senator from Bulawayo and lawyer, called the ban “clearly unconstitutional and unjust”, and told Reuters the party had lodged a court appeal that city magistrates would hear on Monday morning.
The MDC protest movement is rooted in Zimbabwe’s worst economic crisis in a decade, and viewed as a test of Mnangagwa’s willingness to tolerate dissent in a country tainted by a long history of repression under Robert Mugabe, its ruler for nearly 40 years.
Anger is mounting over triple-digit inflation, rolling power cuts and shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel and bread – bringing back memories of the hyperinflation of a decade ago that forced Zimbabwe to ditch its currency.
Bus Stop TV has reported that comedian Sharon Chideu (Magi) escaped abduction by a whisker in the wee hours of Thursday morning after gunmen arrived at her residence.
Magi had been moved to a safe place when the gunmen arrived.
It seems the season of abductions and torture of opposition members and innocent civilians is upon us again. This follows the abduction of Bustop comedienne Gonyeti who was dumped in Crowborough after being heavily tortured.
Armed men arrived at Sharon Chideu aka Magi’s residents luckily she has been moved to a safe place .Her mom just called kuti tibve pamba.
TOP comedienne Samantha “Gonyeti” Kureya of Bustop TV was last night reportedly abducted from her home in Mufakose by armed masked men who broke the door to the house and beat up her family.
She is said to have been tortured before she was dropped off at Crowbrough North.
Bustop TV posted on their twitter account at 10:12pm: “Gonyeti has been taken by masked and armed men from her house. They beat up her family and broke doors.”
Gonyeti and her sidekick, Sharon “Maggie” Chideu have been a thorn in the flesh of the authorities because of their hilarious satirical pieces that have touched on sensitive political subjects.
See full thread below.
#struckbutnotdestroyed @bustoptv They forced her to remove all her clothes & beat her up w weapons. She later walked around the Crowborough neighborhood seeking for clothes after she was abandoned. She only got assistance on the 6th house whose residents had to throw a dress through the window.Everyone was scared.
They forced hr to remove all her clothes & beat her up w weapons. She later walked around the Crowborough neighborhood seeking for clothes after she was abandoned. She only got assistance on the 6th house whose residents had to throw a dress through the window.Everyone was scared