A SPECTACULAR showdown is looming between police and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters who have vowed to defy the ban on its rally scheduled for Marondera Saturday.
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) banned the rally, to be held at Rudhaka Stadium, citing the notification sent by the party did not satisfy the legally permissible time frames.
The rally is party of CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s whirlwind campaign ahead of the upcoming legislative and municipal by elections..
By Friday evening, hundreds of Chamisa’s supporters were already marching in the farming town, singing, chanting party slogans and inviting more people to their rally.
Its leaders also declared they would be going ahead with their rally despite the Friday morning ban.
Two weeks ago, Chamisa’s rally in Gokwe rally was banned on the eleventh hour despite the High Court having cleared it, leading to police teargassing supporters as a means to disperse them.
The rally, one of three party leader Nelson Chamisa has spoken at will be at Rudhaka stadium Saturday.
Police indicated that CCC’s application for a car rally was invalid because of insufficient notification time and went against provisions of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).
That has however not stopped CCC leaders from encouraging their supporters to attend it.
“We are definitely going ahead in accordance with the law. Come one, come many!” the party’s national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said in a Twitter post.
“Chakachaya Mangwana Marondera Rudhaka Stadium Yellow nation with President,” party secretary general Charlton Hwende who led the march on the streets of the dormant town alongside secretary for welfare Maureen Kademaunga and youths deputy chairperson Cecilia Chimbiri, said.
By time of print, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ (ZLHR) Jeremiah Bamu and Obey Shava had “furnished the police with details which law enforcement agents had demanded” for it to proceed.
Meanwhile, High Court judge, Justice Lucy Mungwari has ruled that the rally could go on as long as the CCC addressed all the internal remedies that the police had demanded from them.
“Go and resolve the internal remedies which were brought to your attention by the police and after resolving them you can proceed with your rally,” Justice Mungwari ruled.
CCC interim organising secretary Amos Chibaya accused police of trying to block the rally on flimsy grounds.
He also said the police had blocked the party’s rallies in Binga and Tsholotsho.
“Police were giving us excuses such as that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to visit the same areas almost at the same time as the CCC planned rallies, which would result in police getting outstretched,” Chibaya said.
“We proceeded with the roadshow today (yesterday) in Marondera and we have done all the preparations for the rally. They cannot stop us from campaigning,” he said.
Chibaya said there were also attempts to block CCC rallies in Beitbridge on Sunday and Binga on Tuesday. In Binga, police stopped the March 15 rally, saying Mnangagwa was due to visit Hwange on March 17, which is in the same province.
Meanwhile, the Officer Commanding Marondera Central, Mtetwa, has placed riot all over Rudhaka stadium and has ordered that no rally must take place.
This was revealed by CCC Marondera Central candidate Caston Matewu in a Twitter post.
“For no reason, the Officer Commanding Marondera Central Mtetwa has placed riot all over the stadium and ordered that no Rally must take place. Such selective application of the law is unprecedented. Irregardless we shall proceed, kana mu Street tinoitira. Aluta Continua”
For no reason, the Officer Commanding Marondera Central Mtetwa has placed riot all over the stadium and ordered that no Rally must take place. Such selective application of the law is unprecedented. Irregardless we shall proceed, kana mu Street tinoitira. Aluta Continua
— Caston Matewu MP🇿🇼 (@cmatewu) March 12, 2022
COURT BID: CCC secretary general Charlton Hwende tells police they are waiting for a court, which is sitting now, to decide if police actions to prevent access to Rudhaka Stadium lawful#Marondera #CCCRally pic.twitter.com/dYzavzcQ0m
— ZimLive (@zimlive) March 12, 2022
Riot police has taken over the venue and told @CCCZimbabwe that the rally will not go ahead.
They have guns and teargas. pic.twitter.com/BqhQZjy2EF
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) March 12, 2022
.@PoliceZimbabwe have been deployed to block a @CCCZimbabwe rally in Marondera despite the High Court having cleared the rally. This is flagrant violation of the law by "law enforcement agents".@MutasaPeter @SADC_News @daddyhope @OMasaraure @amnesty_zim @NewsHawksLive @hrw pic.twitter.com/jkD7i5KbPw
— Crisis Coalition@20 (@crisiscoalition) March 12, 2022
🟡 #LiveInterviews The Citizens have a social contract with the Citizens movement.
🟡Citizens trust Change Champion in Chief Advocate @nelsonchamisa
🟡Our objective is to meet Marondera citizens & no politcal organisation is going to determine our fate. pic.twitter.com/BsQsKe2LlD
— Citizens' Coalition for Change (@CCCZimbabwe) March 12, 2022