Zimbabwean police bar opposition voter mobilisation rally
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Zimbabwean police have allegedly barred the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from holding a voter mobilisation rally that was billed to be addressed by the party’s vice president Nelson Chamisa at the weekend.
In a letter to the MDC, the police said it was impossible for the party to proceed with the rally that was scheduled for Hurungwe, about 140km northwest of the capital Harare on Saturday but they did not give the reasons.
The MDC criticised the ban, saying the police had been notified of the rally by the party’s local leadership in Hurungwe.
In terms of Zimbabwe’s strict public security law, anyone wishing to hold a political meeting or any gathering involving several people should get clearance from law enforcement agents at least two weeks before the event.
“This development is disturbing particularly considering that a genuine free and fair election is predicated upon all political parties being given an opportunity to access all places of the country,” the MDC said in a statement on Thursday.
It said the ban comes against the backdrop of a voter registration blitz by the ruling ZANU PF that kicked off on Tuesday and has been “allowed to proceed uninterrupted.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced this week that it will roll-out a biometric voter registration blitz beginning October 10 and has established 2,508 registration centres throughout the country for the exercise.
The blitz is expected to last 72 days and will be implemented in four phases from October 10 to December 19.
The exercise is in preparation of general elections set for 2018.