“MDC Real Change Peace Rally” Angers Zanu-PF
The armed military and riot police have maintained a heavy presence here ahead of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
star rally to be held at Rudhaka Stadium.
Graham Nyahada, the MDC-T provincial spokesman, said the atmosphere was
quite “exciting” as people awaited the arrival of their party leader.
Nyahada confirmed the heavy presence of soldiers and policefrom the support
“They are stationed at Marondera Central Police Station and more arrived
Friday. They have been going around the neighbourhoods singing in their
trucks but the people here are adamant that they will not be cowed,” said
It also emerged on Saturday that Zanu-PF Mashonaland East provincial
executive formally complained to the police over Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) posters plastered in and around the town advertising
Tsvangirai’s rally dubbed the “MDC Real Change Peace Rally” in Marondera.
Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader, is expected to address the rally, according to
a statement from the party’s information and publicity department.
Party officials said the heavy presence of uniformed soldiers and riot
police was intended to intimidate residents from attending the rally.
The officials added that the high military and police presence in the small
town of Marondera started being noticed on Friday evening, alleging that
Zanu-PF feared a huge turnout.
The same officials said the Rudhaka Stadium peace rally, with nine similar
ones having taken place in other provinces, would afford Tsvangirai an
opportunity to report back to the people of Mashonaland East and the nation
on the progress being made in the inclusive government and challenges faced.
“He will also address the election roadmap as a prerequisite to the holding
of a free, fair and credible election as well speak on and denounce the
disturbing violence that has resurged in the country,” read part of a
statement issued by the MDC-T’s information and publicity department.
The MDC National Executive this week condemned in the strongest terms, the
continued state sponsored violence that has taken place in most societies of
In particular, the National Executive Committee noted that the funding and
use of violence by Chipangano, a terrorist group in Mbare, Harare, has to
stop, and the thugs arrested if peace is to be achieved.
“The MDC urges the Police to act professionally and fulfill their
constitutional mandate of protecting the citizens of the country. Its the
hope of the MDC that the heavy presence of the police is not meant to
intimidate the law abiding citizens but should act as a deterrent to Zanu-PF’s
hooliganism as the party has shown discontent at the holding of the peace
rally by the MDC,” said MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora.
On Wednesday, Zanu-PF representatives in Marondera town reported to the
police that they felt offended by MDC posters that had been pasted in and
around the city.
“The people of Zimbabwe deserve peace, true national healing and an
immediate stop to the persecution of democratic forces and the harassment of
innocent citizens of Zimbabwe. The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s
finish it,” read part of the posters.
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