MDC anniversary in limbo

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa could be heading for a fresh clash with authorities after police issued a blanket ban on all public gatherings in Harare as part of efforts to combat a deadly cholera outbreak that has thus far claimed at least 20 lives.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/XOLISANI NCUBE

The police yesterday issued a ban on public gatherings in the capital following the declaration of the cholera outbreak as a state of emergency by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government on Tuesday.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to inform members of the public that in light of the declaration of the state of emergency, the police in Harare will not allow any public gatherings,” police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said in a statement yesterday.

Asked to clarify if police were also banning church gatherings as well as funeral wakes, Charamba said anyone who would want to organise such events should seek clearance from the Health ministry.

“They would have to seek clearance from the Ministry of Health first, then we would have to act accordingly. Once a state of emergency has been declared, our job is to enforce the law and we will do just that,” she said.

On Monday, the police had given the greenlight to the opposition party to hold its 19th anniversary celebrations, where Chamisa is reportedly also been planning to use the occasion to stage a mock inauguration “of the people’s president” as part of his continuing protest against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s declaration of Mnangagwa as winner of the July 30 presidential poll.

The opposition will be celebrating the birth of the MDC, formed in September 1999. Since its formation, is has continuously posed the greatest threat to Zanu PF’s nearly four-decade stranglehold on power.

Newly-appointed MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume said police had not officially responded to their application for the gathering.

“We have written to the police, but are yet to receive a response. We, however, think the ban is cynical and malicious to the situation given that they have been holding their functions as and when they want,” he said.

“It is imperative that we indicate that authorities have always seemed to find a reason to stop us from exercising our democratic right as citizens. They have the wherewithal to project a holier-than-thou attitude just to deal with the MDC.”


Chamisa yesterday visited the cholera ravaged suburbs in the capital so that he could get a first-hand appreciation of the calamity, which has so far claimed 21 lives and left 2 500 people hospitalised.

Accompanied by Harare mayor Herbert Gomba, senior party officials and city health officials, Chamisa visited Glen View Clinic, where cholera patients were being treated before he went to pay his condolences to families that had lost their loved ones to the epidemic.

“We really feel honoured and inspired by the work being done by our health personnel at this hour of need. Cholera is a disease which we should not be grappling with in this era of technology. It’s an embarrassment as a country that we are still fighting such kind of diseases,” Chamisa said.

He said government should act swiftly to tame the outbreak and urged Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo to stop politicking.

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9 Comments

  1. Everyone knows there is cholera in Harare so i do not see anything malicious here in any case there is now a defacto government in place and all you want to do in conjuction with your anniversary is just childish play and it can wait till month end or when the scourge affecting the city has been brought under control.

    1. THESE ARE MEASURES TO STOP THE SCOURGE WHY NOT SIMPLEY WAIT THIS INCITEMENT IS GETING TOO FAR

    2. Did they stop soccer matches at the same stadia. If it is really for health purposes then soccer should be suspended and this should be done by Health ministry

  2. Comment…Utano hweruzhinji pamberi, zvimwewo zvozoteverawo.

  3. THESE ARE MEASURES TO STOP THE SCOURGE WHY NOT SIMPLEY WAIT THIS INCITEMENT IS GETING TOO FAR

  4. Cholera has been there since i was born 55 years ago and it is not a new thing in zimbabwe. Zanu pf must stop politicize this because cholera will and shall always be there.

  5. Budiriro and Glenview are MDC strongholds. We want to thank our party for allowing us to not pay rates for as long as we want and also to be able to dig wells at our houses. We are also grateful for being allowed to dump garbage and litter wherever we want and thank our councillors for not collecting it thereby saving the little money Zanu PF supporters pay as rates for councillors salaries and allowances. Even our sewage has been given the freedom of the city. We want to thank our president for coming to our clinics to chat to us but keep up the pressure until final victory. Those of us who are not sick will be at the inauguration on Saturday.

    This would be funny if people are not losing their lives while grown man are playing childish games with our lives. What is happening with Kunzvi project. Please President Mnangagwa make this one of your major must do first projects. Amai Mnangagwa I appeal to you to push baba on this issue.

  6. let Chamisa go ahead with his rallies . What are you afraid of,we know that the Police only scares the guilty , are we not having sport gatherings,are people not gathering and mixing at market places, are people not gathering in schools,at work places , in beer halls etc. HAMUNYARE !

  7. Your Name (required):Special Black

    MDCA can you now see the effects of sanctions you called for? Cholera is killing people because of poor service delivery caused by closure of companies due to sanctions. You now cry foul with your own animal.

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