Heavy Police Presence In Harare CBD As Chamisa Vows Defiance

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By Thandiwe Garusa

HUNDREDS of police details have been deployed in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) after a defiant MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa this week said he would disregard future directives banning him from holding public meetings.

On Wednesday, Chamisa was supposed to address party supporters at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare, Harare for his State of the Nation Address (SONA) .

However, for the umpteenth time, the police blocked him from holding the event, citing their busy schedule brought by the opening of the 2020 school year. Schools opened on Tuesday this week.

Chamisa later took to Twitter where he announced he would defy the police for his rescheduled address.

“ENOUGH is ENOUGH. We’ve exhausted all channels. We can’t continue to be victims of of unjust application of the law. Rights are for all,” he said.

However, the move seems to have incensed police bosses who responded to his call for defiance by deploying hundreds of baton-wielding junior officers into the streets of Harare.

A higher number of them are camped daily at the corner of First Street and Kwame Nkrumah, and corner First Street and Angwa Street.

These are streets close to the MDC’s Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House, the party’s national headquarters.

In November 2019, Chamisa’s Hope of the Nation Address was banned while party supporters and passers-by were injured after police assaulted them for holding an illegal gathering.

Several other MDC demonstrations were banned in Bulawayo and Masvingo.

“We are noting a disturbing trend where the police are routinely proscribing MDC events and treating the party as a banned organisation in the country. We continue to be treated like a banned or a terrorist organisation when we are a legitimate political party that is in Parliament and controls 28 out of 32 urban local authorities,” MDC national deputy spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said in a later press statement.

Meanwhile, Chamisa has since rescheduled his SONA for Tuesday next week at the party’s head office.

Last week, Zanu PF youths at a press conference held in Harare condemned the deployment of police details at every street corner in the CBD as this curtailed the rights of peaceful citizens and it scared the youths mostly.