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Police Ban Tsvangirai's Last Election Rally

  • Irwin  Chifera

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addressing people in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province on Saturday
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has banned the Movement for Democratic Change final's campaign rally that was scheduled for Monday in Harare saying they do not have enough personnel to cover the rally as they have deployed police officers to polling stations around the country to secure election material.

According to a letter signed by Chief Superintendent Aleck Chagwedera, officer commanding Harare central district, the rally which was supposed to take place at an open space opposite Rainbow Towers has not been sanctioned and will not be allowed to take place.

Chagwedera said the police do not have enough personnel to cover the MDC-T star rally.

But MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti, said his party is approaching the courts to file a complaint so that the rally can proceed as scheduled.

Mr. Biti also said the MDC-T is worried that with three days to go to the polls, his party has not been given the voters’ roll and has approached the courts to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to supply them with the voters register.

Mr. Biti said what is also worrying is that ZEC has not provided them with the final lists of polling stations.

He said ZEC has also failed to provide his party with information on the number of ballot papers that were printed for the general election.

According to Mr. Biti, the other MDC-T concerns are the continuous hate speech in the state media, the militarisation of the election and the interference of the voters’ roll by an Israel company - Nikuv.

Mr. Biti said political violence is on the increase in most parts of the country and it’s very clear that the elections will not be free and fair.

Zimbabweans go to polls on Wednesday to elect a new government that will take over from the government of national unity formed in 2009.

The police reversed its decision late Saturday evening saying the rally has to go ahead as planned.

Police feared that they will be condemned by the Southern African Development Community, African Union and international community if they blocked the rally, the last in a series of gatherings organized by the MDC-T in the run up to the elections.

MDC-T organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa said they expected thousands of people to attend the rally.

In Mashonaland West province, suspected Zanu PF supporters invaded Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu where Mr. Tsvangirai was initially scheduled to address local people.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai captured at an election rally in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province, Saturday
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai captured at an election rally in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province, Saturday
The prime minister moved to another venue where the same people followed him. He told them that Zimbabweans should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights in public, national elections and other social and political spheres.

Mr. Tsvangirai broke into song and dance before addressing thousands of people.

He told the excited crowd to vote in large numbers in the forthcoming general elections.

He also promised to create jobs in the region if he is elected on Wednesday.