Political analysts have castigated the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for setting stringent conditions for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) star rally scheduled for Sunday in Highfield, Harare, ahead of the 26 March by-elections.
The rally is the first such event to be held by the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC since the party was launched last month.
ZRP approved the rally but warned CCC they would disperse the gathering if the conditions are not met.
The conditions among others include observance of COVID-19 protocols and a ban on the busing of people from other constituencies and chanting of party slogans.
This is despite the fact that ZANU PF and MDC-T held their rallies in Epworth and Highfields, respectively, last weekend with no similar conditions imposed.
Mkhululi Tshuma, a political analyst, said ZRP bosses are “shamelessly” trying to please ZANU PF. Said Tshuma:
The ZRP is offside. The police bosses are shamelessly trying hard to please ZANU-PF. Banning slogans at a rally. Really?
Provision of transport to less privileged supporters has always been and will always be an integral part of Zimbabwean politics.
Even ZANU PF had hundreds of buses bringing supporters from various places around the country to their launch in Epworth last weekend. What has changed now?
Surely Zimbabwe does not deserve this kind of partisan policing. This is totally unacceptable and will taint the ZRP which is mandated by the constitution to be nonpartisan in the execution of its duties.
Whoever made such a call has no more iota of shame left in them at all.
Shame is a critical component in humanity since it stops us from doing certain things.
For an institution that wants to continue being respected, it is utterly disgusting to have such gutter rubbish associated with the country’s chief policing organisation.
Tshuma said the CCC should approach the office that issued such conditions and ask them to withdraw some of these conditions or simply ignore them. He said:
The alternative is to ignore them. Such conditions are unconstitutional in any case.
They can just ignore the unreasonable conditions and just ensure that their members conduct themselves in an orderly and nonviolent manner.
You don’t want to arm those who have chosen to be against you with reasons to continue portraying you as a violent lot.
Another political analyst, Sipho Nyoni, said the selective application of the law by the police shows Zimbabwe is a banana republic. Nyoni said:
This means the same rules that apply to everyone else are somewhat different when applied to the CCC which makes a mockery of our laws and constitutionality as a country.
The police application of the law is shocking, to say the least. Only in a banana republic like what Zimbabwe has turned out to be, can one find such selective application of the law.
This puts into question the impartiality of the police and makes a mockery of their professionalism, that’s if they even have any professionalism, to begin with.