By Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT spokesperson Nick Mangwana has said opposition Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) violent supporters are to blame for continued bans on its rallies by the police.
Four main opposition party’s rallies were banned in February alone and 61 in 2022.
His utterances come a day after violent, running battles between Zanu PF and CCC activists were witnessed in Gokwe.
“Political parties are responsible for their supporters’ conduct during gatherings,” said Mangwana.
“If violence is experienced at your event, law enforcement agents get jittery when you notify them of your future event as they get worried about the maintenance of public order and peace.”
The CCC had sought to have rallies in Chiwanzamarara, Marondera; Chikomba in Mashonaland East, Chendambuya in Makoni district and another one in rural Mutare.
All were barred based on either ‘lacking some information’ or not being fully compliant with the controversial Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA). One was stopped on grounds that the place identified was reserved for boozers’ soccer.
“You can ban a rally, but you cannot ban change whose time has come. Our ways of mobilising and organising have become so much more sophisticated because we knew this day would come. We are fired up and ready to win Zimbabwe for change! Phakama Zimbabwe, Phakama!” said CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, who blamed the Gokwe violence on ‘Zanu PF thugs.’
Zimbabwe heads for elections this year in a race between CCC and Zanu PF.