A Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) National Assembly candidate in the 26 March by-elections said that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has banned them from conducting door to door campaigns and car rallies while the ruling ZANU PF party holds the same without hindrances.
CCC candidate for Mbizo Constituency, Settlement Chikwinya, was one of the six MPs who were recalled from Parliament on 17 March 2021, by the People Democratic Party (PDP).
In an interview with CITE, Chikwinya, who is seeking to reclaim the Mbizo seat he won in 2018 for the MDC Alliance, said:
So far there are no incidences of violence but when we look at the issue of environment, we remain concerned by the selective application of the law by law enforcement agencies who are arresting members of CCC as they embark on their campaign yet they leave ZANU PF members.
We have been addressed by the Dispol Superintendent Commanding Kwekwe District who told us we must not embark on door-to-door campaigns and car rallies.
However, ZANU PF is doing the same, going ahead without any police problems.
When reached for comment, ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said he could not respond to the issue as he was not aware of it. He said:
Maybe it’s communication at provincial level, I can’t answer on something I’m not really appraised of.
ZANU PF has its own spokesperson. As for the alleged police directive, I am not aware.
Maybe you can contact the provincial police spokesperson for Midlands.
Chikwinya said CCC will hold some party programmes this coming weekend and they would then use them to assess how the police would respond.
He said using traditional methods of campaigning, such as mass rallies, was problematic due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus.