POLICE chiefs have written to officers commanding stations nationwide instructing them to stop banning opposition political party rallies in the build-up to the country’s general elections set for August 23.
The memorandum dated July 8 comes as opposition Citizens Coalition for Change has been denied permission to conduct rallies on several occasions, the latest being the Bindura official campaign launch.
“Of late social media has been awash with incidents where some political parties claim to have been denied the right to hold their rallies by the police resulting in skirmishes. These skirmishes are discrediting the electoral processes, as such, commanders are requested to ensure that political parties are allowed to hold rallies unless there are valid reasons to warrant such rejections. Under such circumstances, regulating authorities are urged to thoroughly consult before coming up with decisions to deny any political player an opportunity to hold a rally or meeting,” reads part of the internal police memorandum seen by NewsDay.
“Commanders should note that for elections to be deemed free, fair, peaceful and credible the playing field should be reckoned as level, hence the police actions should not discredit the electoral processes.”