Zimbabwe police ban opposition rally apparently on Mugabe's orders

January 25, 2009 17:48

Zimbabwean police have banned the country's main opposition from holding a rally planned for Sunday, prompting charges that security forces are acting on the orders of President Robert Mugabe's party. The police ban came at the last minute, as members of the Movement Democratic Change were already gathering for the rally on the eve of a regional summit on Zimbabwe's crisis. Human rights activists say Mugabe's government has intensified its crackdown on free speech and dissent in recent weeks. But police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Sunday's rally was banned because of the danger of violence among opposition factions. Opposition spokesman Nelson Chamisa dismissed that as "ridiculous," and said police were acting on the orders of Mugabe's party.

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