Harare - Zimbabwean police on Wednesday used batons, tear gas and water cannon to beat up and disperse supporters of the main opposition party who had gathered outside its building in the capital to listen to a speech by their leader.
The latest police action comes as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accuses President Emmerson Mnangagwa of adopting the heavy-handed tactics of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe who died on September 5.
On Sunday, Mnangagwa defended his record in an opinion piece carried by CNBC Africa, saying his administration was opening up political and media space.
But police have this year banned several MDC gatherings, saying they feared the events would turn violent.
Hundreds of police blocked roads leading to MDC headquarters in Harare but supporters continued to gather, singing and chanting before the arrival of party leader Nelson Chamisa, who was set to address them.