The police have blocked a planned rally by the Coalition for Change (CCC) in Mutare, claiming that the venue was reserved for sports and too close to residential properties.
The CCC had notified the police of its intentions to hold the rally at Rowa Grounds on Saturday, but the Chief Superintendent of ZRP Mutare Rural District, P. Mbira, stated in a letter to the organizers that the rally notice was “not in compliance with the law.” Mbira cited the coincidence of the rally with local football club sporting activities and objections from some property owners as reasons for the unfavorable situation on the ground.
CCC, which poses a significant challenge to Zanu PF in the upcoming elections, has faced systematic restrictions on its gatherings by the state. The police have swiftly blocked its rallies and made arrests of opposition activists, while elements linked to Zanu PF have used violence against those conducting meetings in private spaces.
This latest restriction on the CCC rally is just another example of the state’s clampdown on opposition groups. The people of Zimbabwe are paying close attention to the situation as the country prepares for elections later this year. The CCC’s potential to challenge Zanu PF has made it a target of the government, leading to the systematic restriction of its events and gatherings. The citizens of Zimbabwe are calling for their rights to free assembly and free speech to be respected and upheld.