Several people were injured in Harare during MDC Alliance organised demonstrations following running battles with the police in a development which is likely to further bruise the country’s relations with the international community.
Following what some political commentators termed excessive use of force, the European Union (EU) condemned the police’s use of brutal force during yesterday’s protests.
The Western body urged the police to exercise restraint in dealing with protesters.
Social media was awash with videos of members of the Zimbabwean police force thrashing demonstrators among them, women and the elderly.
“Very worrying images from Harare CBD today, where the police heavy-handedly dispersed crowds of peaceful demonstrators.We call for restraint and proportionality, and for respect for the constitutional right to peaceful protest,” the EU said.
The MDC called a series of nationwide demonstration to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa to cave in to demands for a national transitional authority.
The Harare demonstrations had earlier been banned by the police, a decision which was upheld by the constitutional court following a challenge by the MDC alliance.
Meanwhile, the situation remains calm in Bulawayo as the demonstrations are slated for Monday.
However, police are on high alert with heavy police presence in the central business district.
MDC Alliance activists are going around the city distributing flyers calling on Bulawayo residents to march against the worsening state of the economy.
Among key points were the shortages of electricity, fuel and cash.
The situation in Zimbabwe has worsened. Prices of basic commodities have shot up while civil servants salaries lag behind.
Fuel prices have skyrocketed beyond the reach of many , with most civil servants earning an equivalent of 60 litres of fuel .
In January, security quashed demonstrations against fuel hikes, leaving at least 12 dead and hundreds injured.