Former Vice-President and Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru’s Mashonaland West star rally today hangs in the balance after police last night banned the event at the 11th hour.
Source: ZimPF Mash West rally hangs in balance – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 6, 2016
ZimPF officials were last night making frantic efforts to reverse the ban.
In a letter to the convener of today’s rally, the officer commanding Makonde district, Chief Superintendent Grace Ndou, said police had no manpower to provide security.
“Our personnel has been strained due to other deployments. There is a possibility
of violence as the run-up to the rally has recorded clashes between rival groups,” she wrote.
However, Ndou had cleared the rally on July 26 in a written notification.
ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said the move by the police to cancel the rally at 5pm yesterday was purely an act of sabotage.
He said the ZimPF team on the ground had a meeting with Ndou and pleaded with her to give them written confirmation while she insisted on doing it verbally.
“We believe this was meant to make it difficult for us to approach the courts in the absence of the written cancellation. Our legal team is working throughout the night and by 10pm today (yesterday), they should have filed an urgent chamber application to ensure the rally goes on as scheduled,” Mawarire said.
“As a party, we really wonder why it is only Mashonaland West, the home of President Mugabe and Minister of Home Affairs Ignatius Chombo, where such dirty tactics are played to foil our meetings.
“This is the third time that the police have attempted to stop our meetings in the province. We suspect there are a lot of things at play here, including personal differences between Chombo and his ex-wife Marian, who is the ZimPF provincial co-ordinator for the province.”
He urged ZimPF supporters to come in their thousands as he was optimistic the courts would give the party the green light to hold the rally.