Police in Zimbabwe on Thursday arrested officials of the country’s trade union for trying to mobilize and street protest.
The protest was intended to raise concerns about the current worsening economic crisis.
The president of the Congress of Trade Unions Peter Mutasa and Secretary General Japhet Mayo were among those arrested.
Local media reports that the police surrounded the protesters in Harare to stop them from holding the demonstration.
Zimbabwe is currently battling a cholera epidemic. The Police had earlier warned to halt any demonstrations in the capital Harare due to ongoing outbreak.
Public gatherings have been banned in Harare as part of efforts at tackling the cholera outbreak. The outbreak has claimed at least 49 lives so far.
In a statement Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary said “We demand the immediate release of those arrested, and that those responsible for assaulting trade unionists, who are acting lawfully to defend Zimbabwe’s working people from even greater hardship, be brought to justice.”
“This type of repressive behaviour from President Mnangagwa is no different from the tyranny of former President Robert Mugabe. The international trade union movement stands in full solidarity with our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters” the statement concluded.
The government has introduced taxes on electronic transactions while battling shortage of fuel.
A two-cents, tax for every dollar of electronic payments was introduced last week as President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks to revive the debt-ridden economy.
The economic crisis has prevented most shops from stocking their shelves, due to panic buying with fast food chains also announcing a halt in their businesses.
The local currency, which in theory has the same value as the US dollar, has been in free fall in recent weeks, raising fears of a return to the hyper-inflation that wrecked national finances in 2009.