Armed Riot Police block a main road during a patrol on the streets in Harare, Thursday, Aug, 15, 2019. In a show of force to discourage anti government protests, Zimbabwe police with water cannons patrolled the capital's streets and warned residents, "you will rot in jail" if they participated in the demonstrations planned for Friday. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Police patrol Zimbabwe capital before anti-government demos

August 15, 2019 - 9:28 am

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — In a show of force to discourage anti-government protests, Zimbabwe police with water cannons patrolled the capital's streets and warned residents they will "rot in jail" if they participate in the demonstrations planned for Friday.

Human rights groups charge that six anti-government activists have been abducted and tortured this week ahead of the protests, as tensions rise over Zimbabwe's deteriorating economic conditions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged the opposition to engage in dialogue, but at the same time his government is pushing parliament to quickly adopt new security legislation criticized as repressive.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party said it will roll out "peaceful" protests starting this week to try to force Mnangagwa to set up a transitional authority to address economic problems and organize credible elections.

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