Opposition parties welcome police’s stance on rallies


New Ziana – Opposition political parties have welcomed the announcement by the police that they
are free to hold their meetings and rallies in peace and in line with the Electoral Act.
In a memo to provincial officers, the elections commander urged them to ensure that all the
processes relating to elections were done peacefully, and under the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Some political parties had raised a red flag complaining that they were being barred from holding
rallies and meetings by the police.
President of the recently-formed Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development (ZCPD) Trust
Chikohora applauded police for allowing all political parties to hold rallies and meetings freely.
ZCPD is a coalition of opposition parties affiliated with the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad).
“So far, no problems for us on meetings.
“We are happy about the announcement from the Police Chief because it will allow parties to hold
their meetings and rallies smoothly without any unnecessary problems from the police,” said the
Gweru-based chartered accountant and economist, whose party is pushing for an inclusive
government if it wins the forthcoming elections.
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.
“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
The elections commander urged regulatory authorities to acquaint themselves with the provisions of
the Electoral Act and MOPA 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.

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