HARARE : A crackdown last week on protests in Zimbabwe is a foretaste of how the government will respond to future unrest, the president's spokesman said.

Fueling concerns that the southern African country is reverting to authoritarian rule.

Police say three people died during the demonstrations in Harare capital and second city Bulawayo that turned violent.

But human rights group say evidence suggests at least a dozen people were killed while scores were treated for gunshot wounds and hundreds were detained.

''The government will not stand by while such narrow interests play out so violently. The response so far is just a foretaste of things to come.''

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's spokesman George Charamba told the state-controlled Sunday Mall newspaper.

Charamba said authorities would review some provisions of the constitution adopted in 2013, which he said were being abused by proponents of democracy.

He was accompanying Mnangagwa on a four-nation European tour.

The president had been expected to fly to the World Economic Forum in Davos this week and pitch for foreign investment to revive Zimbabwe's crippled economy.[Reuters]


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