Zimbabwe bans opposition protests for one month
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Zimbabwean police have announced a fresh ban on protests in the capital Harare, state media said Tuesday, in another attempt to end demonstrations against veteran ruler President Robert Mugabe.
The order came hours after a coalition of opposition parties said they would stage mass protests across the country on Saturday to push for reform before elections due in 2018.
An earlier protest ban in Harare was overturned by the courts last week, despite Mugabe vowing a crackdown on dissent and blasting judges for "reckless" rulings allowing previous demonstrations.
In a notice in the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday, Harare police chief Newbert Saunyama said a ban would be imposed on "holding of public demonstrations" for one month starting on Friday.
Anti-government campaigners vowed to defy the order and appeal to the courts.
"These are the last kicks of a dying regime and we expected no better from them," Douglas Mwozora, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party, told AFP.
"They have no respect for the law but we are not going to surrender our constitutional right. We are going back to the courts to challenge this illegal ban."
Hardlife Mudzingwa, spokesman for the pressure group Tajamuka (We are agitated), told AFP: "We will not heed this unconstitutional declaration by the police."
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party won the last general elections in 2013 which were marred by electoral fraud.