HARARE – Police in Harare have issued a ban on two more Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rallies in which party leader Nelson Chamisa was set to address party followers in Harare’s Budiriro high density suburb and Chitungwiza.
The end-of-year celebrations had been set for 17 December.
However, according to correspondence to the opposition party, police blocked the events and did not give reasons behind the ban.
“Your notification to hold the above mentioned rally was received, and the event was not sanctioned,” said the police.
Chamisa shared on Twitter two letters from the police banning the rallies at the two centres captioned: “Our end of year rallies are banned.”
“Police have prohibited our two rallies this weekend after stopping our tree planting programme earlier this week.
“I am told Zanu PF fears the bumper crowds and our big rallies will send the wrong message to the world,” said the opposition chief.
Earlier last week, police in Masvingo issued barred CCC from conducting a “tree planting day” in Gutu North’s Ward 4 saying an unnamed political party had given prior notice to hold a meeting in the same area.
Chamisa, the only opposition politician with a more realistic chance to upstage President Emmerson Mnangagwa in polls next year, was set to preside over the tree planting event.
The ban on opposition events has continued since government enacted its draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA) which was replaced by an equally repressive Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).
Since January this year, some 20 CCC events have been banned by police, who have been accused of bias towards Zanu PF by opponents.
Police have often cited lack of manpower to cover the events as the main reasons for failing to sanctions the events.
In the few cases opposition rallies have been sanctioned, things have not been any easier for Zanu PF’s main opponents after followers have often been physically attacked and left nursing injuries by suspected Zanu PF supporters, often with no arrests on the perpetrators.