Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned on Friday his party may organise nationwide protests against President Robert Mugabe's government over its failure to stem the country economic slowdown.
Tsvangirai said Mugabe's government had failed since last year's election to address economic woes afflicting Zimbabwe including massive unemployment and a liquidity crunch.
"We are drawing a line in the sand and we shall pressurise and mobilise the people because those who claim to be in charge have not demonstrated any desire and commitment to solve the pressing national issues," Tsvangirai told reporters.
He would not elaborate on the date or form of the protest.
"The country has no money, companies are closing and prospects remain dim for overseas development assistance and foreign direct investment," Tsvangirai said.
He said a week after elections in July last year the country lost $1 billion through capital flight.
Tsvangirai's comments come after police beat and detained activists from his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who took to the streets on Monday demanding that Mugabe deliver on his promise to create two million jobs.
The protests took place as leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) closed a key summit in the resort town of Victoria Falls where Mugabe was appointed chairman.
Rights groups last week urged the southern African countries at the SADC meeting to address abuses and uphold individual freedoms in their countries.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deplored "serious human rights concerns" in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
They accused Harare of dragging its feet in prosecuting perpetrators of political violence, and denounced secrecy around mining rights and the country's lucrative diamond fields.
In Zimbabwe the police must authorise demonstrations, and they often use brute force to suppress dissent.