Police have blocked a Zanu PF demonstration that had been scheduled for today to protest against the continued illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and the brutal killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in the United States recently.
Zanu PF had written to the police advising them of their intention to conduct the demonstration, but Officer Commanding Harare Suburban District, Chief Superintendent Smart Matongo turned down the request.
“This office acknowledges receipt of your notification letter dated 02 June 2020 in which you intend to stage a demonstration against the killing of a black American, George Floyd, by the USA police and illegal economic sanctions at the USA Embassy on 4 June, 2020 at 1000hours.
“Whilst the demonstration is for a noble cause, it contravenes section 5 (1) of SI 83 of 2020 of the Covid-19 lockdown offences. Take note that gatherings of whatever purpose are prohibited during this period save for those exempted in the Statutory Instrument. May you please shelve the idea at the moment until we have passed this pandemic phase,” said Chief Superintendent Matongo in a response to Zanu PF national Political Commissar, Cde Victor Matemadanda.
Party Acting Spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa confirmed that the “event organised by the office of the party’s National Political Commissar Cde Victor Matemadanda to petition the US Embassy following the brutal killing of George Floyd has been aborted”.
“This is in line with the President and Government directive for all Zimbabweans to abide by the national lockdown regulations in so far as the country is fighting to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. Needless political gatherings are therefore contrary to this directive and the nation must stand guided,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Zanu PF Commissariat director, Dr Davison Gomo, said the party will respect the decision by the police.
“We are subject to the laws of the country, just like any other political organ. We will comply with the decision of the police.
“This is perfectly in order. We have always notified the police when we have gatherings or events of this nature. We only proceed when the police allow us.
“Despite the decision of the police, it is important to raise the point that Americans have no basis to declare us an enemy without any grounds at all. There is no basis for that. We pointed out that their police have no right to suffocate and murder a person. As Zimbabweans, we have a right to raise concern when a black person is murdered by the State,” said Dr Gomo.
Zanu PF Acting Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Tendai Chirau, said they were a law-abiding party and will respect the police decision.
“We are going to follow the police order as it is justified, looking into the current situation being faced as a nation. However, we were so hurt by the killing of George Floyd in the United States and that is why we had seen it fit demonstrate. We will, however, continue to make noise over the killing of Floyd,” he said.
This week, Zanu PF, war veterans and other progressive groups of people, have called on the international community to demand justice for the slain black man who met an agonising death at the hands of a white police man in the US.
Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis triggered riots in the US and most parts of the world.
Speaking at a Press conference in Harare, Cde Matemadanda said justice should prevail in America to end the senseless killing of black people, which is all too common.
“I want to talk about the American brutality on black people, which does not come on Floyd as an isolation issue. We know America is the largest global sponsor of imperialism.
“Even though some people might say America itself never physically colonised any country, but America is the largest sponsor of imperialism.
“The idea being that of taking foreign wealth to America, but America also went a step ahead and became the largest importer of colonised Africans in the form of slave trade.
“We know that most activities the world over of slave trade were done in America,” said Cde Matemadanda.
He said when America decides to kill black people arbitrarily, no one is surprised, adding that justice was unlikely going to be served in Floyd’s murder case since black people were not regarded as humans in the US.
Cde Matemadanda described the American justice system, which is seen highly by its sympathisers, as anti-black people.