HARARE — Zimbabwean police arrested an opposition official and a journalist on Monday, accusing them of inciting violence ahead of street demonstrations planned for next week by activists who charge government corruption has exacerbated economic hardship.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it feared the arrests were the start of a crackdown and intimidation of government opponents to stop the July 31 protests.
Many citizens say their economic prospects have worsened since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from the late Robert Mugabe following a coup in 2017. Mnangagwa says the economy is being sabotaged by local and foreign opponents.
Police said they had arrested Jacob Ngarivhume, leader of a small opposition outfit who called for the protests, which are being backed by the MDC. They also detained freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.