Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday implored citizens to remain peaceful and shun violence, amid calls by the opposition MDC for mass demonstrations on Friday.
Mnangagwa said in a tweet that he was reiterating his calls to all opposition leaders that he remained open to dialogue.
The MDC said the proposed nationwide demonstrations are to protest deteriorating economic conditions and to push for dialogue between MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and the president.
“The recent national holidays remind us that our strongest asset is our unity,” Mnangagwa said. “I reiterate my calls to all opposition leaders that my door remains open and my arms remain outstretched.”
“Riots and destructive violence must be rejected; peaceful constructive dialogue are the way forward,” he said.
There are fears that the demonstrations, to be held under the banner “Shut down Zimbabwe,” will turn violent as has been the case in the past.
The police and other security agencies are on alert for possible violence, while youths from the ruling ZANU-PF party have said they will attempt to foil the demonstrations.
Social media is awash with views either supporting the proposed demonstrations or condemning them as counter-productive.