Heavily armed police patrol Harare

 Zimbabwe’s police said it believes that opposition protests planned on Friday will turn violent and warned that the nation’s security services will intervene if they do.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Wednesday it will proceed with a demonstration in the capital, Harare, and four other cities because of the dire economic situation. The southern African nation is grappling with shortages of cash, fuel and electricity, as well as one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

Opposition activists have been mobilizing residents to join the protests and sacks with catapults have been found, the police said in a statement Thursday. All vehicles without registration numbers will be impounded, it said.

Heavily armed Zimbabwe Republic Police details were reportedly seen in Harare on Thursday in anticipation of the much hyped MDC demonstration slated for Friday.

The police were clad in the recently purchased anti-riot gear.

Meanwhile police have issued a statement saying they have retrieved some weapons that were allegedly being stocked by MDC to commit violence on Friday.

The weapons include granite stones and catapults.

MDC issued a statement on Wednesday saying they are proceeding with the peaceful demonstrations which are indefinite.

MDC Spokesperson Damiel Molekele told members of the press that the protest will be rolled out in all cities in Zimbabwe until the desired end is achieved.