Massive traffic chaos as CCC activists hold surprise car rally in Harare, 40 arrested!

Ass-Comm Paul Nyathi

In a dramatic turn of events, law enforcement authorities in Harare have apprehended 40 members of the Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) for allegedly conducting an unsanctioned rally and causing a major traffic disruption at Machipisa Shopping Centre in the Highfield suburb. The arrests were made under the provisions of the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act (MOPA), according to a statement by National Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi confirmed the incident, stating, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of 40 Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) activists in Machipisa this afternoon for contravening provisions of the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act, Chapter 11:23 (MOPA).”

The opposition party members had initially planned to hold a rally at Churu Farm outside the capital, as per their notification to the local Regulating Authority for Harare South. However, they deviated from the planned rally and embarked on a car procession from Glen View to the Highfield suburb.

According to Assistant Commissioner Nyathi, the CCC convener, Lawrence Materege, and Gladmore Hakata, made the decision to divert from the notified rally and proceeded with a car rally procession along Glen View, High Glen Road, Main Street, and Machipisa Road, ultimately causing a disruption at the OK Machipisa traffic lights by openly blocking traffic.

Upon their arrival at Machipisa Shopping Centre, the CCC members began chanting slogans, further exacerbating the traffic situation. A concerned resident promptly reported the incident to the police, leading to the subsequent arrest of the opposition party members.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi stated, “They started to chant party slogans as they sang, and a concerned citizen made an official report to the police. Our officers reacted and arrested 40 CCC activists who were led by Gladmore Hakata, who actually scuffled with the police officers during the arrests.”

During the operation, the police seized trucks and radio speakers that had been used for the unsanctioned rally by the opposition party members. Assistant Commissioner Nyathi seized the opportunity to remind all political parties to comply with the law, particularly as the country approaches the upcoming election on August 23.

“As police, we continue to implore political party conveners, their leaders, and supporters to comply with the provisions of MOPA and to strictly adhere to the rally venues and times notified to the local regulating authorities for the purpose of maintaining law and order in the country,” emphasized Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

The arrests have sent sh0ckwaves through the political landscape, raising concerns about the potential impact on the upcoming elections and highlighting the importance of adhering to legal protocols during political activities.

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