Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has vowed to stage peaceful protests against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose government, he says, has precipitated the national economic slide.
Annual inflation has risen to over 500% and most people live in poverty.
But Mr Chamisa said that he would be willing to meet with his rival to pursue talks on political reforms.
He told thousands of party supporters in the capital, Harare, that his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was planning a year of “demonstrations and action” adding that the party is “emboldened and resolved and come what may we will not be intimidated”.
Last year, police brutally put down MDC protests, and banned several party meetings.
Tuesday’s rally was preceded by a police raid of the party’s headquarters at the weekend.
Mr Chamisa has refused to recognise President Mnangagwa’s presidency following disputed elections in 2018.
He says he is prepared to enter into talks to agree on political and electoral reforms to guarantee free and fair elections in 2023.
Regional bodies and civil society groups have been pushing for dialogue between the Mr Chamisa and Mr Mnangagwa.