The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reportedly barred the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) from holding its two end-of-year celebration rallies which were scheduled for this Saturday in Chitungwiza and Budiriro.
Earlier this week, police also banned the party from launching a tree-planting program in Gutu, stating that another political party had a meeting in the same area on the same day, according to NewZimbabwe.
ZRP did not give any reasons for banning the rallies in two letters which were addressed to the party. Read the letters:
Reference is being made to your letter dated 08 December 2022 in connection with the above subject. In the letter you notified to hold an End of Year Celebration Rally at Budiriro 5 Bus Stop, OK Shopping Centre, Budiriro 5. Harare on the 17th of December 2022 from 1000 to 1600 hours.
May you be advised that the notice to hold the rally has not been sanctioned. Thank you in advance for your cooperation,” reads one of the letters.
CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, a former minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, said the ruling ZANU PF was behind the ban. He said on Twitter:
Our end-of-year rallies have been banned. Police have prohibited our two rallies this weekend after again stopping our tree planting program earlier this week.
I am told Zanu PF fears that the bumper crowds and our big rallies will send the wrong message to the world. We #fakapressure unto a big win!
It’s not the first time the police has blocked the opposition party’s rallies.
In the run-up to the 26 March 2022 by-elections, police blocked a number of CCC rallies citing issues such as unavailability of venues.
Political analysts say the security sector is captured by the ruling party hence the “impartiality.”