Harare police on Monday fired teargas and water cannon in an attempt to quell rioting by minibus drivers and others protesting against what they describe as police harassment.
The unrest followed violent demonstrations at the Beitbridge border post last Friday.
Addressing a press conference in the capital Monday, MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu Zimbabweans â€œto rise and demand their rights as peaceful demonstrations are constitutional and must continueâ€.
â€œZimbabweans reserve their right to petition and demonstrate peacefully. We in the MDC support any sector that is embarking in peaceful demonstrations,â€ he said.
â€œAs a party, we urge all our members to join any legitimate demonstration that is meant to bring pressure on this regime.
â€œOn our part, we shall continue to mobilize Zimbabweans against this government, which mustÂ resign because it has failed the people of Zimbabwe.â€
During Mondayâ€™s chaos, protesters blocked roads leading into central Harare, forcing many people to walk up to 10km to get to work. Rioters threw stones at police and vehicles, and some children on their way to school were caught up in the chaos.
Outnumbered police later sought to negotiate with the crowds after failing to disperse thousands of protesters, who were concentrated in the eastern suburbs of Harare.
Many rioters were young men unable to find regular employment who make a living by charging drivers a small fee to load passengers into minibuses.
Said Gutu: â€œThe crisis in the country is worsening every day and the deteriorating situation demands nothing less than the resignation of President Robert Mugabe and his government.
â€œWe strongly believe that it is the right of every Zimbabwean to demonstrate and petition and enshrined in section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
â€œThat is why as a party, we began public demonstrations in Harare on 14 April and proceeded to hold similar protest marches in Bulawayo and Mutare.
â€œWe have got a roll-out programme for all the provinces while in the meantime we will support every march, every petition and every demonstration aimed at exposing this government for failing to resolve the burgeoning national crisis.â€
Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International has condemned the â€œpolice crackdown and brutal use of force against protestersâ€.
â€œThe deplorable use of force by the police against protesters amounts to human rights violations under the countryâ€™s international and domestic laws,â€ said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty Internationalâ€™s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.
â€œPolice must comply with international standards governing the use of force in policing protests.
â€œAuthorities must launch an independent and impartial investigation into the conduct of the police officers who are found to have used unnecessary force against protesters.
â€œPolice must stop using force to suppress dissenting voices.â€
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