|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it hoped to have 2,000 people at the demonstration, but the police banned the protest, and arrested those who turned up.
The opposition has condemned the government for the arrests, and what it says are police assaults on passers by.
Under tough new security laws, the police must approve all planned demonstrations.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the MDC activists had been arrested for carrying placards, reports the French news agency, AFP.
The arrests were a "violation of residents' constitutional right to express themselves," said the MDC's Local Government spokesman Gabriel Chaibva.
Zimbabwe's eight largely rural provinces already have governors, who also sit in parliament and have wide powers.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo denied that the new governors would make the opposition mayors redundant and said they would coordinate development.
But MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyati told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that it was "laughable" for the government, which had presided over a 22-year decline in services, to say it would now turn things around.
The new governors would usurp the powers of the elected mayors, he said.