By- There is a heavy police presence at the venue for today’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally, despite granting the opposition party the green light to host the event.
CCC MP Fadzayi Mahere said that this morning, anti-riot police officers gathered outside Masvingo Car Park Grounds where recalled Ward 2 councillor Shantiel Yeukai Chiwara is scheduled to hold her last by-election rally.
Mahere said the rally was cleared by the Police two days ago, but this morning, armed police officers arrived at the venue and said that ZANU PF wanted to use the same venue so she could not proceed.
A statement posted on the Citizens Coalition for Change X page reads:
We have received a report that the @PoliceZimbabwe have surrounded the venue for our rally, which we had applied to use and were given permission. Zanu PF and its imposters are afraid of an imminent defeat by the genuine change champions. They illegally removed our members and now they fear an imminent defeat.
A letter addressed to the convenor of the rally, Martin Mureri, by Officer Commanding Masvingo Central District Superintendent E. Shumbamhini, reads:
NOTIFICATION TO HOLD A POLITICAL RALLY FOR CITIZENS COALITION FOR CHANGE AT CAR PARK GROUNDS BETWEEN GOMBA BUSINESS CENTRE AND NORTHWEST MEDICAL CENTRE ON 03/12/23.
1. Reference is made to your letter dated 27/11/23 that was brought to my attention on the 28th day of November 2023 with above subject matter.
2. Your request has been noted in terms of MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER ACT CHAPTER 11:23.
Please be advised that I have taken note of your intention to hold a campaign rally at Car Park Grounds between Gomba Business Centre and North West Medical Centre ON 3 November 2023. The meeting shall proceed subject to strict observations of the following instructions:
- Your activities shall be restricted to the venue.
- No carrying of offensive weapons to and from the venue.
- Your activities should not adversely interfere with those not part of it.
- Your party members should not use abusive and provocative language.
- You shall observe the time you booked for.
- No address after 1630 hours.
- No procession of vehicles or people to and from the venue.
The CCC says since its formation in early 2022, Police have banned more than 100 of its planned rallies saying they did not meet the requirements of the MOPO Act.