By Anna Chibamu
MDC President Nelson Chamisa says the party’s 19th anniversary celebrations which have been twice blocked by the police twice will now be held this weekend.
The party has also threatened to use the event to inaugurate Chamisa as the ‘people’s president’, drawing stern warnings from the government.
Addressing a press conference in Harare Tuesday, the opposition leader said his party was in the process of engaging the police regarding clearance for the event.
Previous attempts to stage the celebrations were blocked after the government banned public gatherings due to a cholera outbreak that killed 54 people countrywide.
Chamisa however accused the government of using the pandemic to block opposition activities.
“(The ruling) Zanu PF party has been masquerading as the police to continue to hide behind cholera,” he said.
“They are thanking cholera for helping Zanu PF to ban our activities under the guise of (the pandemic) being a problem, but we are seeing soccer matches and weddings are continuing.”
He continued; “Just recently, Mnangagwa had a graduation ceremony.
“So, this weekend we have said that whether the police indicate that they are willing to proceed with our meeting or not, we will have to do everything that is necessary to proceed with that meeting.
“We will also have to go to the court if we have to do so, but we have not yet had a response from them so far. But, if they are continuing to be intransigent, we cannot continue postponing our anniversary. It has to be on the 27th of October.
“We will take all legal peaceful mechanisms to make sure that we congregate, and we are already mobilising our people countrywide to be part of this process, particularly as we celebrate our 19 years of existence,” said Chamisa.
The MDC has hinted it might inaugurate Chamisa the ‘people’s president’ at the event.
The opposition leader rejects his defeat by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 elections, insisting that the outcome was manipulated in favour of the outcome by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).