Police to allow all election rallies
Harare (New Ziana) – The police commander for the 2023 general elections on Monday advised provincial police commanding officers to ensure that all political parties were allowed to hold rallies unless there were valid reasons to disallow them.
In a memo to the provincial officers, the elections commander urged them to ensure that all the processes relating to elections were done peacefully, and in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The name of the elections commander was not given by police.
Of late, social media has been awash with claims by some political parties that they had been barred by police to hold rallies, resulting in skirmishes in some cases.
“These skirmishes are discrediting the electoral process, as such commanders are requested to ensure that political parties are allowed to hold rallies unless there are very valid reasons to warrant such rejections,” the police elections commander said.
“Regulating authorities are urged to thoroughly consult before coming up with decisions to deny any political player an opportunity to hold a rally or meeting.”
“Commanders should note that for elections to be deemed free, fair, peaceful and credible, the playing field should be reckoned as level, hence the police actions should not discredit the electoral process”.
The elections commander urged regulatory authorities to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Electoral Act and MOPA so as to make informed decisions.
“The purpose of this legal instrument is for the police to prepare and take actions aimed at ensuring that any political activity is done peacefully,” said the police elections boss.
At the weekend, police blocked a Citizens Coalition for Change rally meant to launch the opposition party’s 2023 elections campaign in Bindura because the venue chosen was undergoing renovations.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has on numerous occasions preached the gospel of peace and tolerance ahead of the August 23 elections.
Addressing a packed ruling ZANU PF party rally at Magunje Growth Point in Hurungwe at the weekend, President Mnangagwa said the prevailing peaceful environment in the country should continue throughout the campaign, voting and post-election periods.
“We in ZANU PF despise violence, we want peace so it must be understood that it’s our desire, we the people of Zimbabwe, particularly ZANU PF. We want peace, and unity before, during and after elections,” he said.