Nelson Chamisa

POLICE have blocked Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa from addressing a campaign rally scheduled for Saturday citing lack of compliance with the law in what observers said was indication of abuse of state institutions by the Zanu P-led government.

The opposition has complained of abuse of police and other State institutions to weaken the CCC and the latest, especially coming after Vice President Constantino Chiwenga addressed at the same event in February, may be testimony to the fears.

This will be Chamisa’s second rally to be blocked by the police who two weeks ago fought running battles with the opposition supporters in Gokwe, Midlands province.

Another of his rally was besieged by Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe where a CCC supporter Mboneni Ncube was speared to death.

Sixteen Zanu PF supporters were arrested.

In a letter addressed to aspiring Member of Parliament for Marondera Central Caston Matewu, the police said: “Reference is made to your notification with the above subject dated 28 February, 2022. Your notification is invalid as it does not fully comply with the requirements of MOPA,” a March 10, 2022 letter signed off by Officer Commanding Marondera police district read in part.

Police also blocked a mini-car rally saying: “In your notification I have noted that you intend to hold a campaign rally comprising of a mini-car rally around Rudhaka stadium prior to the address.”

“What you are terming a car rally is indeed a procession that requires seven day notice to the regulating authority according to Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA),” the letter read.

“Given the above reason your notification is invalid as it does not fully comply with the requirements of MOPA,” the letter read in part.

The CCC spokesperson Fadzai Mahere was yet to respond to questions while party organising secretary Amos Chibaya was not picking up calls.

It was not immediately clear whether the party was challenging the ban in the High Court as happened in Gokwe were they were granted a greenlight to proceed.

Chamisa has accused the government of using all sorts of tact to decimate his party and working with the MDC-T to take over properties and finances belonging to his former MDC Alliance party.

Zanu PF rallies have been allowed to go ahead without incident and the opposition is crying foul insisting the playing field was not level ahead of the March 26 by-elections and the 2023 general elections.

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said: “It cannot be politics as usual when Zanu PF wants to contest on its own. The behavior of banning opposition rallies in the 21st century is archaic and pathetic.”

More to follow…

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