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Zimbabwe: Protesters arrested at banned anti-government march

Armed soldiers patrol a street in Harare, Friday, July, 31, 2020   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press


The normally busy Zimbabwean capital looked almost empty on Friday, with many hiding indoors.

The police and military troops patrolled the streets of Harare after an anti-government protest was banned.

Demonstrators originally planned to protest corruption but instead asked for the resignation of the ruling political party.

Tensions are on the rise in Zimbabwe. Inflation is skyrocketing and now the coronavirus pandemic has weakened the threadbare health system.

Scores of people who decided to hold small protests anyway were arrested on Friday.

Among them was the prominent Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, a figure of feminism and one of the country's biggest literary names whose latest book was nominated for the Booker Prizer.

Human rights groups have said they witnessed abuses such as arrests, detentions and beatings towards both protesters and ordinary people accused of violating the lockdown.

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