The Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai says it will go ahead with a rally tomorrow on electoral reforms in Chikomba district, Mashonaland East province, even if police won’t provide security for the event.
Party spokesman Obert Gutu told reporters in Harare today that police informed them that they can’t provide adequate manpower for the rally to be addressed by the MDC-T leader, whose opposition group has called for a nationwide boycott of all polls until there are broad electoral reforms in Zimbabwe.
Gutu said police indicated that they will instead be providing security in the same province for a meeting to be convened by some Zanu PF officials.
In terms of Section 25 of the Public Order and Security Act or POSA, a political party is only obliged to give notice of its intention to hold a public meeting at least five days before the date on which such public meeting is to be held.
Gutu said the MDC-T informed the police about their rally as per these provisions and were surprised that the country’s law enforcement agents decided to only take care of their opponents’ meeting.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she could not comment on the matter as she was yet to be briefed by her colleagues in Mashonaland East province. Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Clemence Mabweazara, was not available for comment as he was not answering his mobile phone.
Zanu PF loyalist, Goodson Nguni, said it is surprising that Tsvangirai will hold the rally when he has been informed by the police that they won’t provide the necessary security personnel.
Nguni said this is tantamount to violating some of the country’s laws.
Political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Professor Charity Manyeruke, said Zimbabwe has adequate laws to deal with people like Tsvangirai.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police have over the years failed to provide security for Tsvangirai’s rallies, which have been conducted nonetheless with few incidents of violence.