HARARE – Clashes between protesters and police broke out on Friday, following a court order banning an anti-government demonstration.
The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), called for the demonstration to protest worsening economic conditions and the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We respectfully think the judgment was riddled with political interference,” the MDC posted to Twitter.
After the court ruling, police officers remained deployed in central Harare and used tear gas to disperse the crowds, according to the opposition.
“Rhodesia is back!” MDC leader Nelson Chamisa wrote on Twitter, referring to the country’s colonial-era name.
“Rogue regimes always collapse,” he added, with a photo showing police units dominating Harare’s streets.
Other MDC party members called the Zimbabwean government “fascists.”
The southern African country has been ruled by the African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) for four decades.
Mnangagwa replaced former leader Robert Mugabe, who was forced to step down in a military takeover in November 2017 after 37 years in power.
The current president, who promised to fix the country’s ailing economy, gave extra blow to Zimbabweans when he announced the decision to more than double the fuel prices.
In January, a wave of protests over the fuel price hike in Zimbabwe led to violent clashes between demonstrators and the military.
It resulted in the death of nearly 20 protesters and the detention of a thousand others, according to human rights organizations.