Police Block CCC From Holding Campaign Rally In Gokwe, Again
Police in Gokwe South District have banned a Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) rally that was scheduled to take place at Nyaradza Grounds on 13 July 2023.
The ban comes barely hours after Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) issued an order instructing provincial commanders to clear rallies by opposition parties to make the upcoming general elections appear free and fair.
In banning the CCC rally, ZRP Officer Commanding Gokwe District, Superintendent A. Zimbili said there will be other political activities near the venue.
This means that the activities by other political parties have been given the green light to go ahead but only CCC cannot hold its rally.
In a letter dated July 10 addressed to CCC provincial administrator, Joseph Madyegwayi, Superintendent Zimbili said:
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Kindly be informed that on the said date there will be political activities by other political parties, including yours at CMB (Cotton Marketing Board) Open Space opposite Madzore Bottle Store, Gokwe South which (have potential to) strain our human resources base in the event of any public disorder…
CCC national spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere confirmed the latest development. She tweeted:
Our Gokwe South rally has been banned by [the Police] because ZANU PF is scared of [CCC]! 6 rallies were banned over a one-week period.
Chivi, Chiredzi Central, Chikombedzi, Mazowe Central, Bindura and Gokwe South. ZANU PF can never win a free and fair election in Zimbabwe!
In 2018, the then main opposition party, MDC Alliance, was allowed to campaign without hindrance but its successor, CCC has been blocked from holding rallies dozens of times since its formation over a year ago.
On 25 February 2022, ZRP banned a CCC rally in Gokwe that was to be addressed by the party’s leader Nelson Chamisa.
The letter was written by the Officer-In-Charge Gokwe District, Chief Superintendent T Chikono, to the Organising Secretary CCC Gokwe Central Constituency, Agnes Limbani Jumo, and dated 25 February. It read in part:
SUBJECT: PROHIBITION NOTICE FOR A BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
It is your submission that you intend to conduct a by-election campaign launch rally at Open Space opposite Runganga Service Station, Gokwe South on the 26th day of February 2022 from 1000 hours to 1700 hours.
Your notification has been noted and this office does have reservations due to the following:
a) Reference to our discussion conducted on the 23rd day of February 2022 at Officer Commanding Police, Gokwe District office and in accordance to Section 8 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act, Chapter 11:23, in which I invited you in order to discuss the amendment of the contents of your convening notice in good faith.
b) I Indicated that I have received credible information that there is a threat that the proposed by-election campaign launch rally will result in serious disruption of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, injury to participants attending the rally or other person, or extensive damage to property or public disorder since there shall also be a ZANU PF rally in Kwekwe on the same day and times since participants are going to utilise the same Kwekwe-Gokwe highway.
c) The police will not be able to provide adequate protection for the persons participating in the by-elections campaign launch since the police officers have been deployed to cover the star rally in Kwekwe District.
d) Based on the above so as to ensure the prevention of injury to persons or damage to property and in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act, Chapter 11:23, I have issued a prohibition notice and allowed you to defer your by-elections campaign launch to another date.
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