Harare quiet as police dampen Zimbabwe opposition protest
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s police patrolled the streets of the capital, Harare, Friday morning while many residents stayed home fearing violence from an anti-government demonstration planned by the opposition.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has launched a legal challenge, urging the courts to declare their protest to be lawful and to dismiss the police ban on their street demonstration, said party spokesman Daniel Molokele.
Police in riot gear and with water cannons maintained a heavy presence in downtown Harare and in residential areas across Harare early Friday morning. Police and government officials warned that the demonstration would be illegal and protesters would “rot in jail.”
To avoid any possible trouble, many residents avoided going out. Many shops were closed and Harare’s streets were unusually quiet Friday morning.