Police Bans MDC Rally Because Citizens Suffering From Hardships May Take Advantage

The Officer Commanding Police in Harare Central District, Chief Superintendent O Mugomeri, has advised the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa that it could not go ahead with its rally set for 20 November 2019 at Africa Unity Square.

In a letter dated 16 November 2019, Chief Superintendent Mugomeri wrote:

1) The above subject matter is pertinent.

2) This office acknowledges receipt of your notification letter on 02 November 2019 in which you intended to hold a public meeting on 20 November 2019 from 1000-1600 hours of Africa Unity Square, Harare Central Business District.

3) As discussed in a consultation meeting on 15 November 2019 in my office, I am not in a position to sanction the event due to the following reasons:

a) The current situation in the CBD is volatile, the volume of both human and traffic have tremendously increased as we approach the festive season coupled with the payment of government bonuses to government workers.

For this reason, the chances that your intended gathering will be taken advantage of by some rogue elements are very high.

b)The Ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing economic hardships so any call for the public meeting in the CBD might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence may erupt.

4) In view the hive of the activities that we highlighted above and also that you invited diplomats who also happen to all under our constitutional mandate, as far as their security is concerned, it will be very difficult to guarantee their security at a venue we deem inappropriate because of the above-mentioned circumstances

5) Your co-operation with the Police and other government agents would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation

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