Lupane Police Stop Tsvangirai Peace Rally
Bulawayo, March 24, 2012- A peace rally organised by Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC T) led party has been banned by police
in Lupane, Matabeleland North province.
The MDC T peace rally was scheduled for today Saturday afternoon at St
Pauls, Lupane constituency and was set to be addressed by the Premier among
other top party officials.
“Police on Friday told us no to go ahead with the peace rally today saying
it is clashing with a Zanu-PF provincial meeting,” Njabuliso Mguni, the
former legislator for Lupane told Radio VOP.
Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC T deputy organizing secretary added that the police
action proved beyond doubt that the state security organ in Matabeleland
North is fighting the former opposition party.
“They have cancelled our peace rally again,” Bhebhe said.
“This is the reason why we are recording the names of such unprofessional
police officers so as to prosecute them for their unprofessional conduct
once we get into power as they seem to be possessed with banning our
meetings and fighting us in each and every turn.”
Edmore Veterai, the Officer Commanding Matabeleland North province could not
be reached for comment.
Veterai is the senior cop who impounded a number of vehicles belonging to
the MDC that had been deployed by the party to carry out ground work ahead
of the watershed 2008 election.
Police in Matabeleland North have been preventing Tsvangirai from
campaigning in the province since the seizure of the vehicles in 2008.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Matabeleland
North is a hostile province in the country as police have been harassing
and arresting civic society activists, pastors, politician and Ministers for
holding meetings in that area.
Last year alone, there were over 50 arrests while police also continue to
maintain their stranglehold in on the province by banning opposition rallies
despite court rulings that gave the green light to the parties to conduct
their campaign rallies in the region.
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