Zimbabwean protesters clashed with the police following the court dismissal of an application by the opposition to reverse a ban on an anti-government protest.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance had called for a series of street demonstrations across the country to protest corruption and economic mismanagement by the government.
The first protest was to take place in Harare on Friday, 16 August 2019, but police late on Thursday, 15 August 2019, banned the demonstration, saying it would turn violent.
The party approached the High Court for an order reversing the police ban but Judge Joseph Musakwa dismissed its application and referred the lawyers back to the magistrate court to appeal.
MDC spokesperson Daniel Molokele told journalists that they were calling off the demonstration in the capital after a judge threw out their application.
“So, for now the people must remain calm, avoid any form of violence and stay safely at home,”
MDC supporters however ignored the court order and poured into the Harare central business district, resulting in running battles with the police.
Several protesters were injured during the skirmishes, with the government confirming that one of the demonstrators was taken to hospital.
“We note an incident where an unidentified woman was injured during a stampede at the corner of Jason Moyo and Sam Nujoma Roads when the police tried to disperse an illegal demonstration,” the Ministry of Information said.
It said the woman was taken to hospital “and efforts are underway to establish her condition.”
The European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe criticised these actions.