Secessionist Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists on Monday defied a police ban on unsanctioned political gatherings and held roadshows and village meetings in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland South province.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Police last week barred the MRP from holding roadshows in Mbalibali, Tshefunye and Mbamba in Tsholotsho that were scheduled for January 20 and 21.
MRP president Mqondisi Moyo told Southern Eye that they decided to defy the police ban because they were constitutionally entitled to exercise their rights without interference from law enforcement agents.
He said the MRP visited Chefunye, Mbalibali, Mbamba, Mvundlana, Jahe, Ngqoya, Tsholotsho centre and Nyamandlovu centre in Umguza district.
“This successful event happened against the backdrop of political denial for MRP by the Lupane district superintendent to hold a road show and three rallies in Tsholotsho.
“The tribal, political and unconstitutional denial by the said [Officer Commanding Lupane District Chief Superintendent Johannes] Govo, became a blessing in disguise as it exposed the insincerity of the government of [President Emmerson] Mnangagwa and his ilk. It also attracted, by default, a lot of local and international media coverage, to the credit of the cause of MRP,” Moyo said.
Last week, the MRP warned it would start using their constitutional right to hold rallies without seeking police clearance.
Under the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), individuals, political parties and other organisations are supposed to seek police clearance to hold gatherings, roadshows and demonstrations.
Police last week barred the MRP from holding roadshows and rallies in Tsholotsho because the party was “not clear on its agenda”.
“The Constitution of Zimbabwe is the supreme law of the country and guides Zimbabweans. It is noticed that you have secluded yourself from Zimbabwe as per the geographical map of your Mthwakazi,” Govo wrote.
“However, according to Posa, your notice does not fulfil the requirements which must be included. You should not hide your agenda as it is not shown, that is venue of the show, roads to be used, number expected at the gathering.”
In May last year, MDC-T vice-president Thokozani Khupe and other party members were teargased when police crushed an MDC-T voter registration campaign in Lupane ward 9.