Court turns down CCC rally application
Marondera (New Ziana) – The Marondera magistrates court on Saturday turned down an urgent application by the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party to overturn a police ban of a car rally it had wanted to hold in the town.
The ruling forced the party to immediately call off the rally, after several hours of a tense stand off between the police and CCC supporters who had gathered.
Police refused to sanction the rally, one of two the party wanted to hold in the town on Saturday, on security and legal grounds.
Security wise, police feared the planned car rally could result in violence, while legally, they said the party should have submitted its applications no less than seven days before the event.
Earlier, the High Court in Harare had authorised the party’s main rally at Rudhaka Stadium, but directed the CCC to obtain approval from police for the car rally.
But in the end, both rallies were called off, with party leader Nelson Chamisa, who was the main speaker, telling supporters to disperse peacefully.
The rally is part of a series political parties are holding across the country to drum up support for their candidates in the March 26 parliamentary and local by-elections.
The seats fell vacant after the incumbents either died or were recalled from office or re-assigned by their parties.
In Mashonaland East province, there are three parliamentary and six local government seats on offer, and the CCC’s Saturday rally was meant to canvass support for its candidates running in these.