Zimbabwe police fire tear gas and arrest 80 at protests in capital

Implicated... Cabinet Secretary Misheck Sibanda allegedly signed off on duty free vehicle imports

Implicated... Cabinet Secretary Misheck Sibanda allegedly signed off on duty free vehicle imports

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reported to have granted permission for the opposition MDC to hold its protests in the Harare CBD tomorrow.

Zimbabwe's police used tear gas, arrests and beatings Friday to quell anti-government protests in the capital, Harare. Mr Chamisa, who lost the presidential election to President Mnangagwa a year ago, continues to refuse to accept defeat. "Only a legitimate people's government can deal with the people's grievances".

The MDC, which disputes President Emmerson Mnangagwa's presidential election win past year, called the protest against the government's handling of the economy, which is mired in its worst crisis in a decade.

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.

The country has since been repeatedly shaken by violent protests, with the opposition accusing the government of corruption, rising economic woes and clampdown on dissent. Also, Zanu-PF clinched a two thirds majority in Parliament - 179 seats to 88 to the MDC Alliance.

Opposition groups feel that the President is failing to live up to his promises following his election in disputed polls.

In a statement last night, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the 91 were arrested for various offences arising from the illegal demonstration which the police had earlier prohibited. "That will come as a result of this protracted, incessant, insistent and peaceful action of the people", he said. Police are chasing demonstrators and arresting some.

Heavily armed police officers patrolled the CBD while some were stationed at strategic areas in the city center, including at Africa Unity Square where protesters were due to congregate. Some of the youths went on to engage in confrontational acts which include threats, intimidation and disruption of the smooth flow of traffic in the CBD.

"Security remains on high alert and deployed to ensure safety of the citizenry and security of property", it said.Local rights group Heal Zimbabwe said in a series of tweets that police had rounded up scores of people in several of the city's townships and surrounding neighbourhoods. Other protests are planned around Zimbabwe in coming days.

"We have also noted with concern falsehoods by some online publications that the police shot into the crowd, killing two people, which is false".

The UK and U.S. have expressed concerns about the reports. It's not going to be a walk in the park. It is the people's struggle. "We don't accept the conduct of this regime, the conduct of Mr Mnangagwa".

That address speaks for itself. They went out of their way to shut down (the city). Those in opposition ranks who might want to defy the law must be ruthlessly dealt with.

"The [MDC] president is open and has plans to travel to major worldwide centers, including Moscow and Beijing, some capitals in Europe and the West just to highlight the extent of the problem in terms of how the problem is man-made and how the problem is costing millions of lives and has threatened food security for millions of people", Nkululeko Sibanda said.

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