ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday accused the police of blocking the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rallies around the country.
Addressing a rally in Dangamvura, Mutare, to drum up support for Zanu PF candidates in the March 26 by-elections, Chiwenga sought to absolve the government from the bans being imposed on opposition rallies.
“The opposition should not blame Zanu PF about the ban of its rallies,” Chiwenga said.
“It’s not our problem, anyone is allowed to campaign. Please, deal with the police, and don’t blame anything on the government or Zanu PF because Zanu PF is also applying to the Zimbabwe Republic Police to get clearance for its rallies.”
On Friday, police did not sanction a CCC rally which was supposed to be held at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on Saturday. This was despite that High Court judge Justice Lucy Mungwari’s ruling that the rally should go ahead as long as the CCC addressed the internal remedies that the police had cited.
On Saturday morning, police barricaded Rudhaka and turned away thousands of CCC supporters coming for the event. Heavily armed riot police formed a human wall at the stadium, blocking all entrances.
A CCC rally in Binga, which is scheduled for tomorrow, is in limbo after police did not approve it, saying that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was due to visit Hwange on March 17, and they would not have enough manpower to handle the rally.
In February, police barred CCC from using buses and lorries to transport its supporters to rallies, despite Zanu PF bussing in its supporters to such events.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi curtly said: “Currently, I have not been briefed about the issue by the Officer Commanding Manicaland province. I am driving on the highway and I would want to be briefed first on the situation in Manicaland before I comment.”
Meanwhile, in his address to Zanu PF supporters, Chiwenga aasured them that no one will die of hunger because of the drought.
“We have realised that most crops are wilting and, as government, we are going to make sure that no one suffers from hunger. We have started preparations so that we address those challenges,” he said.
“The government led by Zanu PF has done enough to win by-elections by carrying out various projects, including road rehabilitation,” he said.
Zimbabwe goes to polls on March 26 in by-elections necessitated by recalls, deaths or diplomatic postings.