Zimbabwe police ban protests in capital for next 2 weeks

Harare — Zimbabwe's police are banning demonstrations in the capital for the next two weeks, a day before a planned protest by the opposition.

A notice issued by police cites a lack of manpower to prevent public disorder. It says demonstrations will be allowed in Harare only after September 16.

It says anyone taking part in protests before then could be imprisoned for up to a year.

The capital has been rocked by weeks of near-daily protests over a plummeting economy, allegations of corruption and President Robert Mugabe's decades-long rule.

Police have often used tear gas, water cannons and open violence to crush the demonstrations.

Friday's planned protest would have brought together 18 opposition parties, which had been fragmented in the past.

Opposition officials say they will challenge the ban, saying it is akin to suspending people's rights.

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