“The bad apples that tried to divide our people and weaken our system will be eliminated,” the Zimbabwean President promised in a speech to the nation.
“We will overcome the attempts of a few thugs, acting with foreign detractors, to destabilize our society,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said.
Authorities on Friday banned demonstrations meant to protest corruption and the country’s economic crisis.
Several people were arrested, including the Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, shortlisted for the prestigious British literary award “Booker Prize”. He was released on bail the following day.
The Zimbabwean Association of Human Rights Lawyers said on Tuesday it represented around 20 people arrested since last week.
At the head of the small Transformer Zimbabwe formation, the opponent Jacob Ngarivhume had called for demonstrations, as did the journalist and whistleblower Hopewell Chin’ono. Both, arrested before the demonstration, are still in detention, and accused of public incitement to violence.
Amnesty International condemned a “witch hunt and crackdown on peaceful opponents”.
Successor of Robert Mugabe at the head of the country after a coup in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had promised to revive a dying economy. But some believe the situation is even worse than during the Mugabe era.
Zimbabwe, a country in southern Africa, has been stuck for the past twenty years in a catastrophic economic crisis, which has resulted in rampant inflation and shortages of many basic commodities.