Police in Lupane East on Monday blocked a rally organized by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube saying all their manpower was in Victoria Falls for President Robert Mugabe’s security.
The party condemned the move charging that law enforcement agents were being used by Zanu PF to slow down its momentum.
The Ncube MDC has held rallies in different parts of the country in recent months making its case to the electorate ahead of elections scheduled for next year.
In a statement, the party said: “This is a calculated move to frustrate our campaign for a just and fair Zimbabwe. We are aware that as our party is growing rapidly, those that are opposed to democracy will make an effort to overturn our revolutionary train.”
Police were not immediately available for comment but Ncube MDC spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said his party was outraged, adding that the ban had no justification.
“The excuse given by the police is really a method to restrict our growth, to limit our political activities and probably to try and assist others to gain political space which we had taken,” Dube said.
In a related development, the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn political party led by former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, said it was also blocked by the police from holding a rally in Karoi, Mashonaland west province, over the weekend.
The party’s secretary for mobilization Phillip Chapfunga said despite having booked the venue a few days earlier than the former ruling party, the police officers told them they were under instructions to give Zanu PF first preference over any other political party.
“We opted for an open space but they said there were no sanitary facilities despite the fact that the consitution select committee once held their outreach programs there," he said.
Chapfunga said: “We thought we were equal partners in this political field but unfortunately there are people who are more equal than others.”
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) responsible for writing the country’s new constitution said the registration of delegates to the Second All Stakeholders Conference was now expected to start Tuesday.
COPAC co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Zanu PF said the registration was postponed from last weekend to allow his committee time to finalize the issue.
COPAC met Monday with civic leaders to discuss a rejected move calling on independent groups to submit names of participants through political parties.
Mangwana told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri accreditation teams have already left Harare for various centres around the country.
National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Chief Executive Officer Cephas Zinhumwe said civic groups were now busy preparing a list of their delegates for the conference.