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Zimbabwe Police ‘bans’ CCC Public Events

Tree planting in Gutu, thank you rallies in Budiriro and Chitungwiza banned

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Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa had his party’s campaign rallies that were scheduled for Harare and Chitungwiza banned by the police as fears grow that the popular opposition leader will not be allowed to freely mobilise ahead of next year’s elections.

Chamisa was scheduled to address CCC rallies in Harare’s Budiriro and St Mary’s in Chitungwiza yesterday, but police refused to clear the events.

The ban on the rallies came a few days after police refused to give permission to a Masvingo villager who wanted to hold a tree planting event where Chamisa was slated to attend.

A staggering 20 events for the CCC have been banned by the police since the opposition party emerged in January this year.

On the other hand, Zanu PF and other opposition parties, including Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T are allowed to hold their activities without much interference from the police.

Police banned CCC rallies in Marondera, Gokwe and Binga among other areas ahead of the March 26 by-elections where the party went on to win the majority of the constituencies and wards that were up for grabs.

Other rallies were disrupted by suspected Zanu PF supporters.

A CCC supporter in Midlands was stabbed to death with a spear early this year by suspected Zanu PF loyalists who disrupted a rally addressed by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

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Chamisa yesterday shared on Twitter two letters from the police banning the rallies in Budiriro, Harare and St Mary’s, Chitungwiza.

“Our end of year rallies are banned. Police have prohibited our two rallies this weekend after stopping our tree planting programme earlier this week. I am told Zanu PF fears the bumper crowds and our big rallies will send the wrong message to the world.”

CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba accused the police of pandering to the whims of the ruling Zanu PF party to block CCC rallies.

“Police blocked our end of year rallies, which were obviously going to be attended by many people. Mnangagwa’s regime is obviously petrified and they are running scared of the cCitizen movement.”

Chamisa and other MDC Alliance leaders formed the CCC after their nemesis Douglas Mwonzora snatched the MDC Alliance name and emblems from him.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi in August gave reasons why opposition rallies are barred included their failure to employ marshals and stick to scheduled times, which police believe pose security threats.

However, political commentator Farai Gwenhure rubbished Nyathi’s claims and accused police of bias and partisanship in its discharge of duties.

“The police have been systematically banning CCC rallies only. It shows that they are getting the instructions from the ruling Zanu PF and the government. This is just a precursor of what to expect next year.”

Mnangagwa is likely to face Chamisa in next year’s elections where he would be seeking a second full term in office after coming into power through a 2017 military coup that toppled long time ruler Robert Mugabe.

The 80 year-old ruler was narrowly defeated by the then 40 year-old MDC Alliance candidate in the disputed polls.

Chamisa refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s election win, arguing that the polls were rigged.


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