Police block CCC conference

Nelson Chamisa

POLICE are in the eye of the storm over allegations of selective application of the law after they cancelled a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) youth conference scheduled for last Saturday, claiming it clashed with a Zanu PF war veterans conference in the capital.

The CCC youth conference was slated for Harare Gardens.

According to the letter written by Harare Central District Police Officer Commanding G Moyo on September 7, CCC had been earlier given the greenlight to hold the youth conference from 8am to 2pm.

But police made a U-turn on Friday saying the youth conference posed a security threat.

“It has, however, come to our attention that there are security threats over the venue that you have indicated, especially on the proposed date,” Moyo wrote.

“As per our previous engagement with you on September 9, 2022, I am, therefore, suggesting that you either shift the event to a different date or look for another venue.”

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere berated the police for selective application of the law.

“The purpose of the young citizens convention was to bring together a mass movement of young volunteers to steer the movement in a number of disciplines, including voter registration, technology, the transformation agenda and winning Zimbabwe for change next year,” Mahere said.

“We condemn this abuse of police by Zanu PF , which is weaponising the law to ban our activities.

“This initiative is run by young people who want change and a better Zimbabwe. The ban is irrational and unconstitutional. We won’t stop fighting to win Zimbabwe for change!”

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the matter had not been brought to his attention when reached for comment.

“Issues to do with Mopa [Maintenance of Peace and Order Act] regulation are dealt with at local level,” he said.

“No such complaint was brought to the attention of the commissioner-general. If CCC members have complaints, they should go to the local (officials) and have their issue addressed.”

Police have been accused of partisan policing when it comes to CCC, banning and disrupting the opposition party’s rallies and events.

Zanu PF members, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have been holding rallies undisturbed, in what election watchdogs say tilts the electoral playing field in favour of the ruling party ahead of the 2023 elections.

Political analyst Vivid Gwede said partisan policing was unconstitutional.

“The police have been showing an undeniably biased attitude towards restricting meetings of the opposition, while giving a free pass to the ruling party,” he said.

“It is visible to the naked eye. That is not the way it should be because the Constitution gives citizens freedom of political choice, conscience and assembly.”

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