By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent
POLICE in Masvingo have refused to sanction Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally for the third time, setting the stage for a potentially explosive showdown with the party’s supporters as its local leadership insist the event will still go ahead.
The rally which was initially scheduled to be hosted at Mucheke Stadium B Arena or alternatively at Rujeko Open Grounds.
But, according to police, Zanu PF has booked both venues for two separate rallies.
Police now want CCC to find an alternative date for the rally even though this is the final weekend before the country conducts by-elections on March 26.
A series of meetings between the CCC local hierarchy and the police failed to break the deadlock, with officer commanding Masvingo district, Simangaliso Dube writing the party’s Masvingo district chairperson Martin Mureri Thursday, informing him that the police had resolved to ban the rally.
Dube cited incapacitation to cover three rallies on the same day since Zanu PF will be holding two similar rallies.
“Masvingo Central Police District is hosting two Zanu PF rallies which are booked on the same municipality; at two different venues: Mucheke and Mamutse stadia, on the same date as yours, on the 20th of March 2022. Hosting a third rally on the same date would not be feasible under the circumstances as police would not be able to cope due to resource constraints,” Dube said in a prohibitive notice.
“The police district has already drawn manpower from the surrounding police stations to provide enough safety and security in respect of those two rallies to an extent of leaving skeleton staff manning our police establishments,” the prohibition notice reads.
Dube informed the party’s chairperson that they will be treated as offenders if they proceed with the rally in Rujeko.
However, sources in the CCC said they were determined to proceed with the rally.
“There is no other date to fix the rally. This is the final weekend leading into the elections and we cannot reschedule the rally for midweek because people would be at work. It doesn’t make any sense so I think the rally will go ahead,” a source within the party said.
CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa is expected to grace the event and drum up support for the party’s council and legislative candidates in the province.