Many Zimbabwean civilians including a prominent activist have been arrested and charged with public violence. Witnesses report that many more were beaten by security forces after a heavy crackdown on the anti-government protects.

Pastor Evan Mawarire who rose to prominence as a Mugabe critic and led a national protest shutdown in 2016, says police surrounded his house after he used Facebook posts to urge Zimbabweans to join the protests.

According to his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa he was bundled into a truck by about a dozen armed police early on Wednesday, and formally arrested and charged with inciting public violence.

Witnesses say police continue to patrol Harare townships while assaulting people in their homes. This tactic was used by Robert Mugabe’s security services during his almost four decades of increasingly repressive rule. 

Opposition lawmaker Joana Mamombe, said she was in hiding after soldiers sought her out at her parents’ home on Tuesday and beat up her father, leaving him hospitalized and unable to sit.