The Zimbabwe police has mounted road blocks on the major roads in Zimbabwe on Saturday, searching vehicles for protesters allegedly involved in recent anti-government demonstrations.
A crackdown by security forces has been fiercely criticised by the UN human rights office, with allegations of shootings, beatings and abductions of opposition figures, activists and ordinary residents.
Police roadblocks were a notorious feature of daily life under former president Robert Mugabe.
But they largely disappeared after he was ousted by the military in November 2017 and succeeded by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We want to tell members of the public that… we have already set up security checkpoints where police officers and other security institutions will be checking,” police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told Saturday’s state-owned Herald newspaper.
She said the checkpoints were to catch suspected looters and recover property stolen during protests that erupted after Mnangagwa last weekend announced a 150-percent increase in petrol prices.
The Herald said 700 people had been arrested after the violent protests, which it blamed on the opposition MDC party and trade unions.