HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s police announced Thursday they are banning demonstrations in the capital for the next two weeks, a day before a planned protest by the opposition.
A notice issued by police cited a lack of manpower to prevent public disorder. It said demonstrations will be allowed in Harare only after Sept. 16.
It also said anyone taking part in protests before then could be imprisoned for up to a year.
The capital has been rocked by weeks of near-daily protests over a plummeting economy, allegations of corruption and President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long rule.
Police have often used tear gas, water cannons and open violence to crush the demonstrations.
Friday’s planned protest would have brought together 18 opposition parties, which had been fragmented in the past.
Opposition officials said they will postpone Friday’s protest until after the ban is lifted, and they will hold the demonstration across the country.
“It will be bigger because it won’t be confined to Harare,” Douglas Mwonzora, an opposition coalition member responsible for legal affairs, told The Associated Press.