Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Saturday vowed to go ahead with its rally set for Harare this Sunday despite the refusal by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to sanction the gathering.
Police on Friday said the party led by Nelson Chamisa, a former Minister of ICT during the Government of National Unity (GNU), will not be allowed to go ahead with the rally in Glen Norah for allegedly failing to comply with provisions of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act.
CCC has since approached the High Court challenging the ZRP’s position.
Posting on Twitter, Gift Ostallos Siziba, the party’s deputy spokesperson, accused the police of selectively applying the law. He wrote:
We are in court to challenge the police’s unreasonable action to interfere with our freedom to assemble at a victory rally in Glenorah. We are not going to accept our country to have one law for Zanupf & another for the rest of the citizens. We will fight back & assert our rights.
In a letter seen by Pindula News, M Majojo, Chief Superintendent Officer Commanding Harare South District said:
RE: NOTIFICATION TO HOLD A BY ELECTION CELEBRATION PARTY IN TERMS OF THE MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND ORDER ACT [CHAPTER 11:231: CHEMBIRA COMMUNITY HALL. GLEN NORAH A. HARARE: 31 JULY 2022′ 1000-1600 HOURS
1. Reference is made to your letter dated the 210 of July 2022 in connection with the above subject. In the letter, you notified to hold a By-Election Celebration Party at Chembiro Community Hall. Glen Norah A. Harare on the 310 of July 2022 from 1000 hours to 1600 hours.
2. May you be advised that the notice to hold the By-Election Celebration Party served on us does not comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 7 (2) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:231 and as such, the intended celebrations have not been sanctioned.
3. Accordingly referred please.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other Zanu PF bigwigs have been holding rallies across the country without any police interference.
Gift Ostallos Siziba told the Standard that they will be going ahead with the rally as planned. He said:
We are continuing with our preparations to host the rally where the party leadership is going to address.
We are leaving no stone unturned to win the 2023 elections.”
The Standard reports that ZRP spokesperson Paul Nyathi yesterday said he was not aware that the CCC rally had been banned.
In the runup to the 26 March by-elections, police blocked some CCC rallies citing a number of issues including manpower shortages and the absence of the venue.