HARARE - A crackdown last week on protests in Zimbabwe is a foretaste of how the government will respond to future unrest, the president's spokesman said, fuelling concerns that the country is reverting to authoritarian rule.
Police say three people died during protests over fuel price hikes in Harare's capital and second city Bulawayo that turned violent. But human rights groups say evidence suggests at least a dozen people were killed while scores were treated for gunshot wounds.
"(The) government will not stand by while such narrow interests play out so violently. The response so far is just a foretaste of things to come," said President Emmerson Mnangagwa's spokesman George Charamba.
Charamba told the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper the government would review some provisions of the constitution adopted in 2013, which he said were being abused by proponents of democracy.
Lawyers and activists say hundreds of Zimbabweans were detained last week accused of public order offences, including at least four lawmakers from the opposition MDC party and Evan Mawarire, a pastor who rose to prominence as a critic of former leader Robert Mugabe critic and led a national shutdown in 2016.