The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has finally given the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance the greenlight to hold its long-awaited 19th anniversary celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare this Saturday.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Police have twice stopped the celebrations last month, citing a cholera outbreak amid claims by the opposition party that the government was blocking the event fearing that it would be used to stage a mock inauguration for Chamisa who narrowly lost to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 presidential poll.
On Wednesday, Chamisa threatened to defy a police ban and go ahead with his anniversary where he promised fireworks.
He also alleged that Zanu PF was running scared and trying to put spanners into their anniversary celebrations.
In a letter dated October 23, Harare South district police boss a Superintendent Chiroodza gave a litany of conditions to the anniversary.
“Your notification to hold the meeting has been noted subject to the strict observation of the following instructions,” the letter read in part.
“You are expected to control the behaviour of your political party members before, during and after the celebrations.
“You should not alter the venue and time of your celebrations and should confine themselves to Gwanzura Stadium only and no other place.
Your political members shall not intimidate passers-by and those who have nothing to do with your celebrations.”
Chiroodza also said the MDC Alliance should not block the thoroughfares and roads around the venue of the celebrations.
“Your members shall not be involved in toyi-toying, convoying of motor vehicles of people chanting, singing and disseminating hateful and defaming speeches,” the police boss said.
Among other conditions, police asked the MDC Alliance marshals to dress in uniforms easier to identify and ensure there would be peace throughout.
Police also asked for co-operation with government agencies and that no dangerous weapons must be carried to the venue.
They also asked that there be no intruders at the venue and that in the event of violence, Rhino Mashaya, who was cited as the convener and party’s organising secretary Amos Chibaya will be held accountable.