Blow for MDC, as police ban Gweru demo

ZRP Commissioner General Godwin Matanga

POLICE on Monday banned the MDC’s Gweru demonstration, pilling more misery on a party that had seen similar protests in Harare and Bulawayo banned in quick succession.

The MDC demonstration which the opposition party had set for this Tuesday, is among a series of planned anti-government protests the party had planned against massive poverty and desperation under the Zanu PF led administration.

The first ban was issued against the Harare demonstration, igniting wild clashes between police and MDC supporters in the Harare CBD.

The Bulawayo situation was calmer.

With the Harare and Gweru protests stopped and the banning confirmed by the courts, it was almost apparent the Gweru rally would suffer the same fate.

“The above matter is pertinent. The office acknowledges receipt of your office to hold public demonstrations dated 08 August 2019. This office is not in support of your notice because of the reasons that are attached on the prohibition notice,” Chief Superintendent Officer Commanding Gweru Urban Police T. Chikono wrote to the MDC without elaborating.

The MDC provincial executive indicated that it was not given reasons for the ban.

“We have not been given the reasons for the demonstration ban. We just received a letter from the police telling us that they had banned our demonstration,” Provincial Organising Secretary Lloyd Mukapiko said.

MDC was Monday locked in a series of meetings on the way forward.

The Nelson Chamisa led party had vowed to take the demonstration to Mnangagwa’s backyard.

“We remain disturbed by the heavy handedness in which the police exhibited on the 16th of August 2019 at the Harare demonstration but our people have resolved to come out in their numbers to march in peace,” MDC National Executive member Settlement Chikwinya said weekend.

He further explained that the harsh economic realities in the country have forced people into the streets.