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Statements from the police negate facts on the ground
Movement for Democratic Change
April 06, 2011
The MDC dismisses
media claims made today by the Police Commissioner - General Augustine
Chihuri that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has sanctioned 94
percent of the meetings and rallies.
is a clear negation of facts. The police chief has in the past openly
shown that he is a partisan public officer when he declared that
he was a supporter of Zanu PF.
The MDC stands
by its position that the police have been denying the party to hold
its meetings and rallies across the country in clear defiance of
Order and Security Act (POSA).
POSA, the police needs only to be notified that a political party
is holding a meeting and they have no right to deny that.
Only two weeks
ago, the MDC was at the courts appealing against a police decision
in Harare to deny the party from holding a People's Peace
rally at Zimbabwe Grounds and Glamis Arena. The peace rally has
been cancelled three times consecutively.
It was claimed
that Zanu PF had booked the two venues. The Harare City Council
even wrote an affidavit dismissing these claims.
officers have been quoted on record declaring that the banning of
MDC rallies was because the country was on some false high alert.
the MDC finds amazing is that another political party - the unpopular
Zanu PF has been granted and escorted by the police to hold their
meetings. Most of the Zanu PF meetings have turned violent as the
rowdy Zanu PF youths looted and assaulted innocent people but no
arrests were made.
The MDC has
evidence that the party's internal congress meetings have
been disrupted across the country especially in Bulawayo, Marondera,
Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Mudzi, Victoria Falls, Hwange and Mutare.
have been arrested, some beaten for attending internal party meetings.
As a Party of
Excellence, the MDC feels that it has not been treated fairly by
the ZRP when it comes to holding its peaceful meetings especially
at a time when the party is preparing for its crucial 3rd Main National
Congress to be held in Bulawayo.
For the record,
below are just some of the various MDC meetings that have been disrupted
by the police in recent weeks;
notified the police of eight meetings. However, seven of them failed
to take place because the police dispersed MDC members who had gathered
for the meetings.
province, of the eight meetings scheduled this year, five were disrupted
by the police and three were refused clearance.
East province, two of the scheduled meetings were refused clearance
and did not take place.
By the time
Midlands North province applied for their one intended rally in
Kadoma, the police had instituted a ban on MDC programmes nationwide.
- On 5 February
2011 - Collin Ndlovu and Alward Mhlanga are arrested in Njube
Bulawayo at a ward meeting and are charged US$20 each for holding
an illegal meeting.
- On 8 February
2011 - Police in Mufakose, Highfield and Budiriro bar MDC members
from holding ward Congress meetings.
- On 12 February
2011 - At least 51 MDC Harare province Youth Assembly members
who are arrested by the police in Mabvuku for holding an illegal
meeting they are released on 14 February after heavy interrogation
- On 6 March
2011 - Lucia Matibenga, an MDC executive member who had travelled
to Bulawayo to oversee the province's restructuring exercise
was told by the police in riot gear to order party members gathered
at the provincial office to disperse. Two of police officers,
Superintendent Fumai and another Superintendent Moyo said they
had been sent by a Chief Superintendent Masina to tell them to
disperse because the country was on high alert.
- On 26 March
2011 - An MDC ward meeting is disrupted at Beit Hall in Bulawayo.
- On 12 March
2011 - All ward Congress meetings are disrupted by the police
in Mberengwa East.
- On 13 March
2011- 10 MDC youth activists from Chitungwiza are arrested outside
Harvest House, the party's headquarters as they leave the
offices after attending a Zengeza East Youth Assembly congress
Out of the 30
meetings that the MDC notified to the police, only one rally took
place in 20 February Mkoba. The MDC therefore finds that Chihuri's
claim that 94 percent of MDC meetings were approved is not only
a gross misrepresentation but a miss on facts by a significant margin.
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