Zimbabwe court bans anti-government protest in Bulawayo

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's courts upheld a police order banning an anti-government demonstration Monday in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city.

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Police prevented representatives the Movement for Democratic Change, the opposition party that had tried to organize the protest, from addressing supporters outside the courthouse where the ban was upheld.

Armed police maintained heavy presence on Bulawayo's streets throughout the day and few demonstrators were seen. Business in Bulawayo's usually bustling downtown was subdued with the most traffic from police trucks, water cannons and dozens of police officers patrolling on foot.

The opposition party had called the protest as part of a planned series of demonstrations to push President Emmerson Mnangagwa to agree to a transitional government amid a rapidly deteriorating economy and rising political tensions.

The protest was planned as a follow up to demonstrations held in the capital, Harare, on Friday when several hundred demonstrators marched in defiance of a police ban that was upheld by the High Court. Police used tear gas and beatings with batons to quell the Harare protest.