POLICE in Bulawayo on Friday blocked Mthwakazi Liberation Front from conducting a prayer meeting for Gukurahundi victims, which was aimed at breaking the silence on the atrocities by giving people the platform to speak out.
BY SILAS NKALA
MLF chairman David Mpofu and Gukurahundi victim Charles Thomas claimed yesterday that the meeting was scheduled to take place at Stanley Hall on April 8, but was stopped by the police amid reports the venue had been booked for a church gathering.
“The police blocked us from holding the meeting and this is not the first time they have refused us a right to express our concerns. This is the third time they have blocked us. We are asking them (police) to tell us what they want us to do since they block us even when we tell them in advance of what we want to do,” Mpofu said.
In a letter dated April 6 addressed to MLF, the police acknowledged receipt of the notification from the party, but turned down the request on the grounds that the hall had been booked by a church on the same date.
“This office regrets to inform you that your intended venue has already been booked for FCC Church on the same date and time. Since your intended venue will be occupied on April 8, therefore, for security reasons the two events cannot be held at the same venue on the same day. I, therefore, request you to come up with a new date for your intended prayer meeting and accordingly notify this office in terms of the law which we will diligently process,” the police response, signed by Officer Commanding Bulawayo West district, Chief Superintendent Marshal Dube, read.
MLF activists said they were planning to host the meeting on another date and would approach the police again before they take the legal route to challenge the law enforcement agents in court.