Zimbabwe’s main opposition group has said it will hold anti-government protests in the capital Harare, in defiance of a police ban.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has called for protests against the government’s handling of the economy.
The MDC has said it has given the authorities assurances the protests will be peaceful.
But police say they have evidence the protests will be violent.
A “prohibition notice” banning the demonstrations has been issued by authorities in Harare’s central district, police spokesman Paul Nyathi said.
“The police will be conducting patrols, surveillance, stop-and-searches to ensure law and order is maintained in all areas of the country,” he added.
In response, an MDC official told Reuters news agency that the party was not aware of the prohibition order and the demonstrations would take place as planned.
The official said, given the party had complied with law by notifying police of the protests, it expected them to “ensure there is peace”.
The protests come after at least six civil society and opposition members were allegedly abducted and tortured earlier this week.
Human rights groups blame state agents, but the authorities have denied their involvement.
What’s the background?
If the protests do go ahead, they will be the first since rallies against fuel price increases in January led to deadly clashes with troops.