THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Index of articles

  • Zimbabwe extends ban on protests, rallies in Harare
    May 24, 2007

    View Save Zimbabwe Campaign index of images and articles

    HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police on Thursday extended a ban on political rallies and protests in Harare which the country's embattled opposition has likened to "a state of emergency." President Robert Mugabe's government imposed a 3-month ban against rallies and demonstrations in February over fears of an opposition uprising in the face of a deepening economic crisis.

    The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported that police authorities had extended the ban by another month in central Harare and in several volatile townships in the capital "in the interest of preserving peace and public order."

    Government and opposition officials were not immediately available for comment. But ZBC said police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena had warned that police would be tough with anyone who breaks the law.

    The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is still waiting for the courts to hear its petition against the initial ban, which it likened to a state of emergency and came alongside a government crackdown on its leaders. Mugabe's ZANU-PF administration has routinely used riot police squads to crush anti-government rallies, most recently on May 8 when they used rubber batons to disperse a march by human rights lawyers protesting against the arrest of two colleagues.

    Tensions rose sharply in early March after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and dozens of other MDC members sustained serious injuries after being arrested by police at an aborted prayer rally in Harare.

    The 83-year-old Mugabe accuses the MDC of being stooges of Zimbabwe's former colonial power Britain in an effort to oust his government as punishment for seizing and redistributing white-owned commercial farms to landless blacks.

    London denies there is such a plot, and the MDC says it is not a puppet party.

    Critics say Mugabe has mismanaged Zimbabwe's economy and violated human rights, sending the once-prosperous nation into a crisis marked by inflation of more than 3,700 percent, unemployment of more than 80 percent and chronic shortages of food and fuel.

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.