By James Muonwa
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has banned another scheduled political meeting by the Robert Chapman-led opposition Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) in Mutare this Saturday.
The stoppage came following initial green light by the law enforcement authorities.
DUZ communications director, Itayi Tawona Muchemwa confirmed the development to NewZimbabwe.com.
“A DUZ meeting has been abruptly prohibited by police after an original approval.
“The large provincial meeting in Manicaland was expected to be addressed by DUZ presidential candidate Robert Chapman today in Mutare,” Muchemwa said.
“This is the second denial by police inside a week where DUZ has had to replan and reschedule meetings with respective teams. The first ban was in Matebeleland North on February 10.”
According to a denial letter written to DUZ by Chief Superintendent Rosum Shonhiwa, who is regulating authority Mutare Central district, the party had changed venues hence the ban.
“Police said after due consideration and following a consultative meeting with the convenor held on 16 February 2023 at Mutare Central District Headquarters at 1540hours, and representations made which includes an amendment of the notification by the convenor changing venue from Courthauld Theatre to Utopia Lodge, the police boss issued the ban.
Shonhiwa argued the choice of the new venue would present security challenges as there had already been another political meeting by an unnamed party in the vicinity.
“There will be another political party which will be using the same venue on that particular date and time, which had already notified me…
“I, therefore, prohibit the holding of the meeting by Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) on 18 February 2023.
“Any person who knowingly opposes or fails to comply with this order/notice shall be arrested and brought before the courts in terms of section 8 (11) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act,” reads the police prohibition order.