'We won't tolerate protests anymore,' says Mugabe spokesman

2016-08-29 22:57
Zimbabwe's opposition supporters set up a burning barricade as they clash with police during a protest in Harare for electoral reforms. (Zinyange Auntony, AFP)

Zimbabwe's opposition supporters set up a burning barricade as they clash with police during a protest in Harare for electoral reforms. (Zinyange Auntony, AFP)

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Harare - President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba has said that opposition protests in Harare last week "crossed a line" - and the authorities won't tolerate them any more.

Speaking on state television's 20:00 evening news bulletin, Charamba called the anti-government protests "nonsense" and said of the opposition: "Let everyone be warned - opposition or wherever - that the government will not tolerate this anymore."

"Let them test the authority of the state [if they go ahead with another march on Friday] and then they will realise that until and unless you keep within the lawful confines of the law the full might of the state will visit on your recklessness." 

Eight years after post-election violence rocked some of Zimbabwe's rural areas, the southern African country is fast descending back into unrest, this time concentrated mostly in the capital. Zimbabweans say they're protesting corruption and mismanagement on the part of long serving leader Mugabe's government. He says they want their own "Arab Spring".

Protest leader Promise Mkwananzi, who was arrested just before Friday clashes between police and protesters in the capital, was not granted bail when he appeared in court on Monday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group confirmed.

Criticism of the brutal behaviour of the Zimbabwe police during the recent protests is mounting. This weekend even the state-funded Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission slammed the police for violating "the fundamental rights of the people". 

Information Minister Christopher Mushohwe told state TV that the US and Canadian embassies were behind the protests.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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