HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe warned against an Arab Spring type of revolution, as Zimbabwe police said they arrested 67 people following a violent protest that rocked the capital, Harare.
“What happened in the Arab world should not be tried here. We don’t want to be provoked. We are a peaceful people,” the state-run Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying at a send-off for students awarded scholarships to study in China.
Police recovered some property looted during the protests, police spokesman Paul Nyathi said Saturday. Police used batons, tear gas and water cannons in running battles with anti-government demonstrators on Friday, despite a court order that the protest could take place.
“Security has been intensified. Anyone who engages in any acts of violence such as destruction of property, attacking security agencies and innocent civilians will be dealt with,” said Nyathi to reporters on Saturday.
Frustrations over Zimbabwe’s rapidly deteriorating economy are boiling over in this once prosperous but now economically struggling southern African country.
Police have often used tear gas, water cannons and open violence to crush anti-government protests, which have become a near-daily occurrence.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, an NGO providing lawyers to demonstrators, said among those arrested are journalist and a pregnant woman.