The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has blocked the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) from holding a campaign rally on 15 March in Siabuwa, Binga.
Officer Commanding Hwange District Chief Superintendent Agnes Robert told CCC that President Emmerson Mnangagwa will visit Hwange on 17 March and, therefore, the police does not have enough manpower to monitor the CCC rally in Binga.
CCC parliamentary candidate for Binga North Prince Dubeko Sibanda on Friday said the party’s lawyers spent the day at the court challenging the police ban. Said Sibanda:
Initially, we had applied that the Binga rally takes place on March 3, but police told us that Mnangagwa was set to visit Binga on the 5th, of which the dates were near each other.
We then applied for the 15th, but they are now telling us stories saying that Mnangagwa will visit Hwange on the 17th and, therefore, the police does not have enough manpower to monitor the Binga rally.
It is surprising because Tsholotsho is in the same province as Hwange and the same police officers that will be deployed at Mnangagwa’s event in Hwange are the same police officers that will be deployed at our rally in Tsholotsho (14th) and Binga on the 15th.
Chief Superintendent Robert has since issued a Prohibition Order against CCC, which she addressed to Memory Unyani, the CCC Matabeleland North provincial organising secretary. Part of the order read:
Hwange District is hosting a State function on 17 March 2022 which will be graced by the Head of State and Government Cde ED Mnangagwa.
Police officers will be drawn from Siabuwa and Binga among other police stations, from as early as the 15th of March 2022 to give coverage to the event.
This, therefore, leaves your intended participants vulnerable to public disorder and potential harm to life and damage to property as only skeleton manpower will be left to man the police stations.
For the foregoing reason, you are hereby prohibited from continuing with the intended political meeting.
Chief Superintendent Robert warned CCC that it will be an offence if they proceeded with the rally “when the notice is still extant.”
She advised the opposition party to approach her office for negotiation on another date and place to stage their rally.