BY STAFF REPORTERS
THE Nelson Chamisa-led opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) yesterday said its campaign rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera will go ahead as scheduled today despite initial attempts by the police to block it.
Police had stopped the rally after the opposition proposed to conduct a mini car rally in the town ahead of the event.
CCC lawyers Jeremiah Bhamu and Obey Shava from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, approached the High Court challenging the police decision.
Justice Lucy Mungwari then 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.
CCC parliamentary candidate for Binga North Prince Dubeko Sibanda yesterday spent the day at the court challenging the police ban.
“Initially, we had applied that the Binga rally takes place on March 3, but police told us that Mnangagwa was set to visit Binga on the 5th, of which the dates were near each other. We then applied for the 15th, but they are now telling us stories saying that Mnangagwa will visit Hwange on the 17th and, therefore, police does not have enough manpower to monitor the Binga rally,” Sibanda said.
He said police, however, granted the CCC party permission to hold the March 14 rally scheduled for Tsholotsho.
“It is surprising because Tsholotsho is in the same province as Hwange and the same police officers that will be deployed at Mnangagwa’s event in Hwange are the same police officers that will be deployed at our rally in Tsholotsho (14th) and Binga on the 15th,” Sibanda said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said he would check with his counterparts in the provinces.