HARARE – Police in Karoi have for the second time blocked opposition MDC’s rally which was supposed to be held in the town.
The party’s vice president, Nelson Chamisa, was set to address the meeting, which was scheduled for last weekend and targeted to mobilise people to register to vote in the forthcoming 2018 elections.
Early last month, the police also blocked Chamisa from holding a rally in the area.
Apart from the Karoi rally, the youthful MDC MP for Kuwadzana East was also expected to address another gathering in Hurungwe.
However, in a November 7, 2017 letter written by the officer commanding Hurungwe district, one chief superintendent B. Ncube said it was impossible for MDC to proceed with the rally because the police were supposed to provide security at several voter registration centres.
“I acknowledge receipt of your notification dated October 31, 2017 to the above event. The convening of public gatherings and meetings is governed by the Public Order and Security ACT chapter 11;17. In accordance with the Act in particular Section 26(10) of the said Act, I write to notify that you may not go ahead as notified because of the following,” Ncube said.
“You failed to attend a consultative meeting which my office had invited you to attend in accordance with Section 26(3) of the Public Order and Security Act so that we discuss security issues as raised by local business people and observed by us.”
“As the police, we are also providing security on several voter registration centres under phase 2 of the programme across Hurungwe East constituency therefore we do not have enough manpower to cover and provide security at your intended rally as required of us by law.”
The letter further said: “In view of the above I wish to advise you that you may consider shifting your dates to a period after the voter registration exercise in the district. Also in future I encourage you to attend consultative meetings so that you answer or give suggestions being raised by the business community or stakeholder.”
However, defiant Chamisa yesterday vowed to organise another rally.
“This is not what Zimbabweans fought for and some died to liberate us. We fought for our liberation, full freedom of association and assembly. The police did not have the powers to stop us. They have been notified, the programme will go on. I don’t take instructions from the police I am informed by party structures. Zimbabwe is not a police State it is not supposed to be banana republic.”