Former Chitungwiza mayor, Lovemore Maiko, who is CCC Ward 7 candidate in today’s by-election, has accused the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) of tilting the electoral playing field in the ZANU PF candidate’s favour.
Maiko claimed that ZRP blocked him from conducting rallies while the ZANU PF candidate, Charamba Mlambo, was allowed to conduct door-to-door campaigns, car rallies, and use Zengeza 5 Grounds and Macheka Square Grounds interchangeably. Said Maiko:
On Thursday, we wanted to have our last rally and before we went to notify the police of our intention we checked with authorities if the grounds were not booked.
Despite finding out that they were not booked, our rally was blocked by the police who claimed that venues were already taken.
While all this was happening, Mlambo was allowed to do a rally, car rallies, and door-to-door campaigns.
ZANU PF used all the grounds yesterday, moving from one ground to another.
Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said:
The issue of gatherings is handled by the local police officers manning the district affectionately known as regulating authorities in terms of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:23].
Their decisions after notifications have nothing to do with the Police General Headquarters unless there are pertinent issues which need the province or national office.