Police Instructed To Allow Opposition Parties To Hold Rallies
Provincial police commanders in Zimbabwe have been instructed to allow opposition political parties to hold their rallies. A memorandum from police headquarters to officers commanding police provinces and officers commanding the Support Unit, which was copied to the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Director of Police Intelligence, police chiefs, says if there are objections, they must consult their superiors before taking any action.
The memo also says police actions should not be used to discredit the election procedures, which must be fair, peaceful, and credible. Read the memo:
Commanders are reminded that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proclaimed August 23 as the date for the harmonised elections. The president has on numerous occasions also preached the gospel of peace and tolerance ahead of the impending elections. It is against this background that commanders are urged to make sure that all processes relating to elections are done peacefully and in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 and the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) Chapter 11:23.Feedback
These skirmishes are discrediting the electoral processes, as such, commanders are requested to make sure that there are very valid reasons to warrant such rejections. Under such circumstances , regulating authorities are urged to thoroughly consult before coming up with decisions to deny any political player an opportunity to hold a rally or meeting.
Commanders should note that for elections to be deemed free, fair, peaceful and credible the playing field should be reckoned as level, hence the police actions should not discredit the electoral processes.
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The latest instruction is in response to the Bindura police denying the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) opposition party permission to host their election campaign launch. The police had cited a lack of access to water and roads that would put their supporters in danger of communicable diseases and also added that CCC had not notified them on time.
According to Twitter posts seen by Pindula News, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said the internal memorandum was leaked to the media. read the tweet:
The ZRP has taken note of an internal memorandum directed to Police commanders from Commander 2023 Harmonised Elections which was leaked to the media. The ZRP advises the public and the media that the leaked memorandum was a communication guide which was meant for police commanders not for public or media consumption. We do not condone leakage of internal memoranda by unruly elements within the system.
The tweet further indicated that ZRP is conducting investigations to identify the culprit and determine the motive behind the leak.
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