Police clamp down on opposition rally, arrest 8 CCC members as tensions rise ahead of elections

Former CCC leader Nelson Chamisa

Police in Chiredzi disrupted and arrested activists at an opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally this week, highlighting tensions between the regime and growing challenge from the new party.

According to CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, 8 party members were arrested on Wednesday when police banned their planned rally at Tshovani Stadium.

The party claimed clashes broke out between police and supporters after they refused orders to disperse, despite authorities claiming the venue was booked for a state event.

Web design in Zimbabwe

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa had been scheduled to address the rally, but ended up speaking elsewhere in Masvingo province after police sealed off the stadium.

The incident reflects increasing repression of opposition rallies in recent months as Zanu PF regime seeks to crack down on emerging challenges from newly formed CCC.

While police declined to comment, the arrests are likely to further inflame tensions and suspicions that Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party is using state apparatus to stifle political competition.

For the embattled CCC activists jailed for simply attending a political gathering, the incident provides a vivid example of the obstacles and repression they face in seeking to build grassroots support for change.

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