Police in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North province on Tuesday barred the opposition Zimbabwe African People's Union or ZAPU from holding a rally at the Tsholotsho Business Center, saying they did not have sufficient manpower to ensure public safety.
But ZAPU spokesman Methuseli Moyo charged that the police decision was a deliberate ploy to prevent his party from campaigning in northwestern Tsholotsho.
Last week ZAPU was barred from protesting commemorations of Unity Day, which marks the 1987 signature of the merger of ZAPU and its liberation rival ZANU, led by then-Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, forming the long-ruling ZANU-PF party. That accord ended a-post liberation conflict that historians say included massacres across Matabeleland.
ZAPU President Dumiso Dabengwa told VOA reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that his party is geared for elections though the playing field is tilted in favor of governing parties.
President Mugabe has called for elections in 2011, though many are urging that reforms be instituted first, including the referendum approval of a revised constitution.