POLICE in Bindura have gagged leaders of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) against using inflammatory and abusive language against President Robert Mugabe during their campaign rally in the Mashonaland Central capital at the weekend.
By Everson Mushava
The rally, to be held at the Aerodrome shops open space from 10am until 5pm, comes a week after police blocked another Nera rally in Chinhoyi. Nera is a loose grouping of opposition parties pushing the Zanu PF government to implement electoral reforms before next year’s general elections.
In a clearance letter dated May 12, police in Bindura also ordered Nera members to avoid toyi-toying or carrying offensive weapons to the venue of the rally.
“The meeting is hereby approved on the following conditions: That no inflammatory, derogatory or abusive words that may incite despondency or threaten the security of the Head of State or security officers on duty at the venue,” the letter read.
“That the door-to-door movement aimed at inflicting fear, harass or force people into attending the meeting will not be tolerated and no bussing of people from outside districts or constituencies.”
Nera organising secretary Joelson Mugari yesterday said they were planning a legal challenge over the ban of their Chinhoyi rally.
“We approached the police on Monday last week and they declined to clear the rally on a technicality that we needed five working days’ notice.
“We reapplied and the officer commanding Chinhoyi said we needed a letter from council clearing us to use Gadzema grounds. We approached council and they said they could give us permission if we got police clearance. We intended to hold the rally on Sunday after the Saturday Bindura rally and we are going to take legal action,” Mugari said.