The government has rejected claims by the opposition CCC party that police are biased against approving their public gatherings. According to figures presented by Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr. Gerald Gwinji, police blocked 86 Zanu PF gatherings from January to July compared to 65 for CCC, showing both parties faced constraints.
Dr. Gwinji told diplomats and observers that all political parties must comply with requirements in the Constitution and Peace and Security Act when notifying police of planned gatherings to avoid clashes. Since January, Zanu PF made 1,437 notifications with 1,351 compliant and 86 not, while CCC made 410 with 345 compliant and 65 rejected. Other parties’ applications were also rejected for non-compliance.
Dr. Gwinji said 88% of police to be deployed have been trained on election duties. A special police unit has been formed to investigate political violence cases speedily. Police have also joined political parties’ liaison committees to resolve disputes and ensure a level playing field, he added. However, the opposition CCC continues to claim bias by the police, saying many of their rallies have been blocked.