By G9ija

Police in Zimbabwe have arrested dozens of trade union members ahead of a planned protest in the capital over the worst economic crisis in a decade, lawyers say.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions members were detained in Harare and the cities of Mutare and Masvingo, according to Lawyers for Human Rights.

There is a heavy police presence in Harare after the government banned the protest, citing an ongoing cholera outbreak.

A court will hear a case challenging the ban later Thursday.

Zimbabwe now has gas lines snaking for hours, prices spiking and some food and medicines running out, AP reported.

The government calls the problems temporary and a necessary pain in rebuilding the southern African country.

The lawyers’ group calls the arrests a pre-emptive strike on the protest against “disastrous economic policies.”