Clashes Between Zimbabwe Government, Opposition Party Persist

Movement for Democratic Change has another protest planned in Masvingo on Wednesday.
Posted at 9:51 AM, Aug 20, 2019

Tensions are on the rise between Zimbabwe's government and the country's main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, as anti-government protests turn violent. 

Witnesses say Zimbabwe police deployed hundreds of its force in Gweru, the next city MDC organized an anti-government demonstration. This would be the party's third attempt since Friday to organize, after police preemptively banned protests in the country's second-largest city, Bulawayo, and in the capital Harare.  

Both led to clashes between protesters and police.

 MDC challenged the bans, but a Zimbabwe court upheld the police's decision. 

"Today the true color of the so-called new dispensation was exposed. The constitution guarantees the right to demonstrate, in terms of Section 59 of the constitution of Zimbabwe," Tendai Biti, secretary-general of Movement for Democratic Change said. 

Zimbabwe's minister of foreign affairs defended the court order, citing safety as a main concern. 

MDC is protesting against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's leadership. 

The party accuses the president of mishandling the economy. 

"Zimbabwe is not open for democracy. Zimbabwe is not open to justice. Zimbabwe is not open for constitutionalism and rule of law, and more importantly, Zimbabwe's not open for business," President of Movement for Democratic Change Nelson Chamisa said.  

The minister of foreign affairs said the country is "undertaking economic reforms," adding it's in the middle of a two-year "transition stabilization program" to spark the economy. 

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst financial crisis since 2008 due to issues like hyperinflation and decades of corruption.