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Zimbabwean Police End Three-Month Ban On Political Rallies In Harare

Police have lifted a ban on political rallies and other public meetings in Harare, but said political parties must still seek permission from police for gatherings.

Chairman Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly, which has often challenged such bans, said the lifting of the ban was meaningless because police can still use the Public Order and Security Act to block assemblies.

Spokesman Gabriel Chaibva of the Movement for Democratic Change faction of Arthur Mutambara said the termination of the ban was good news. But he argued that it was done at this time to buff up Harare’s civil rights credentials in the eyes of regional leaders - African Union heads of state will be meeting Sunday in Accra, Ghana.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai told Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the faction considers itself entitled to hold rallies any time it wants without seeking permission from authorities.

Police spokesman Andrew Phiri said he had no immediate comment on the matter.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...