By Bulawayo Correspondent
SEVERAL Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leaders in Bulawayo were this week summoned by police regarding the party’s official Bulawayo by-election campaign launch which was set for this Thursday.
The newly formed party was set to launch both its parliamentary and council by-election campaign this Thursday, but the progamme has been postponed to a later date due to logistical challenges.
CCC leaders who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said since this publication carried out the story about the launch Tuesday, mobile phones of Bulawayo’s s leadership have been inundated with calls from different state security agents who wanted to know the itinerary of the party‘s president Nelson Chamisa.
The party’s organising secretary for Bulawayo province Hellen Mpofu was Wednesday summoned to Southampton police headquarters, where officers from the law and Order section as well as Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) grilled her over the launch.
Mpofu’s subpoena follows the summoning of the party’s provincial chairperson James Sithole over the same issue Wednesday.
“At around 10 am morning, Tuesday, I received a WhatsApp message from James Sithole indicating that the regulatory authority at Nkulumane police station wanted to interview me in connection with President Chamisa’s visit to Bulawayo. While I was preparing to go to the police station, I also received another landline call (+263 292885698) from Southampton requesting me to come to the police station,” said Mpofu in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.
Mpofu said while at the police station, the police officers demanded details about the launch including Chamisa’s itinerary.
“The police officers subjected me to a barrage of questions including why Chamisa was coming to Bulawayo. But I openly told the officers that there was nothing sinister or unlawful about the launch since Zanu PF has held recent similar functions in the city without any problems.
“I even asked the officers that are CCC now banned in the country because all the parties, including (Douglas) Mwonzora’s party have been holding meetings without any challenges.
“As I speak, I hear Mwonzora’s party will be holding a meeting in the city this week and the police have not said anything,” she said.
The party’s Bulawayo province spokesperson Southern Chiroodza confirmed that the party was under siege from the state security agents in the city.
“Police have also warned the provincial leadership that they will not allow a car rally in Nkulumane. Their informers told them that we were planning to have a car rally. And now our members are being quizzed by police on our next action. This is manifestly unjust.”
“The Constitution does not allow police to brazenly support Zanu PF in this way,” said Chiroodza.
A total of two parliamentary seats are up for grabs in Bulawayo while seven council wards will also be contested during the by-elections which have been slated for 26 March this year.