Zimbabwe police on Friday fired tear gas and beat many opposition supporters who gathered in central Harare for a protest march.
The government had banned an anti-government protest although the country’s high court upheld it.
Protesters largely members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) defied the ban.
In an attempt to prevent the protest from taking place, police officers clashed with protesters.
Police had to fire tear gas and water cannon and in some instances chased protesters from one of the city’s main squares with batons.
There were reinforcements all aimed at preventing the protesters from re-assembling.
— TeamPachedu (@PacheduZW) August 16, 2019
Friday’s street demonstration was to begin series of nationwide protests organised by the MDC.
The opposition is accusing Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of state-sponsored violence, corruption and economic mismanagement.
MDC Vice President Tendai Biti told reporters on Friday that “The constitution guarantees the right to demonstration … yet this fascist regime has denied and proscribed this right to the people of Zimbabwe.”
He adds that “…We have jumped from the frying pan into the fire after the coup of November 2017… We don’t accept the conduct of this regime, the conduct of Mr Mnangagwa.”
— RT (@RT_com) August 16, 2019
Zimbabwe is currently facing an economic crisis and has been hit by a food crisis with more than five million people in dire need of food aid.
The United Nations has said that most of those without food are close to starvation.
The World Food Programme (WFP) this month launched a $331m appeal to help the country.
Zimbabwe is currently battling the effects of drought, a cyclone and an economic crisis.