Zim cops have been told in no uncertain terms to stop blocking rallies by the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, ahead of crucial elections next month.
In a damning memo dated July 8, police chiefs ordered officers in charge of stations nationwide to let all political parties hold rallies “unless there are valid reasons” to ban them.
The memo, seen by NewsDay, follows a spate of CCC rallies recently being axed by cops, most recently its official campaign launch in Bindura.
It states: “Of late social media has been awash with incidents where some political parties claim to have been denied the right to hold their rallies by the police resulting in skirmishes. These skirmishes are discrediting the electoral processes, as such, commanders are requested to ensure that political parties are allowed to hold rallies unless there are valid reasons to warrant such rejections. Under such circumstances, regulating authorities are urged to thoroughly consult before coming up with decisions to deny any political player an opportunity to hold a rally or meeting!”
The memo warns police brass that they must “thoroughly consult” before banning any political gatherings, to ensure a “level playing field” for all parties in the polls.
Last week cops banned a CCC rally in Chiredzi.