40 CCC activists arrested in Harare for car rally violation

Libinance Dokora

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has apprehended 40 activists from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) for conducting an unauthorised car rally in Machipisa, Harare.

The leading opposition party had initially informed the local Regulating Authority for Harare South of their plans to hold a rally at Churu Farm on August 15, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, as part of their campaign ahead of the August 23 elections. However, they deviated from the agreed-upon plan and chose to organise a car rally, which contradicts the constitutional guidelines.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests in a statement, stating that the activists had engaged in an illegal car rally that disrupted public order by obstructing traffic in the Machipisa area.

“The convener, Lawrence Materege, and CCC’s Glenview South MP candidate, Gladmore Hakata, departed from the scheduled rally at Churu Farm and proceeded with a car rally procession from the Glen View area onto High Glen Road, Main Street, Machipisa Road, and finally into the Highfield suburb. They came to a stop at the OK Machipisa traffic lights, openly obstructing traffic,” Paul Nyathi said.

Law enforcement had previously disapproved of the opposition party’s car rally, as such campaign activities violate provisions outlined in the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act, Chapter 11:23 (MOPA).

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi emphasized that the activists amplified noise through defiant songs and slogans, drawing the attention of pedestrians and motorists. A concerned resident reported the CCC members to the police, leading to the arrest of the 40 activists, who were led by Hakata.

“Hakata was involved in a scuffle with the police officers during the arrest. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has also recovered three trucks and radio speakers used by the CCC supporters during the unsanctioned car rally,” Nyathi added.

“The police urge political party organisers, their leaders, and supporters to adhere to the provisions of MOPA and strictly adhere to the rally venues and schedules communicated to local regulating authorities to maintain law and order in the country,” Nyathi emphasised.

Fadzayi Mahere, the spokesperson for the opposition party, remarked that while the ruling party held rallies unopposed and faced no hindrances, the police appeared to be biased.

“We’ve received reports that the Police have halted a peaceful CCC roadshow in Highfields based on instructions from ZANU PF candidates in the area. It’s been reported that ZANU PF conducts similar roadshows daily without disruptions,” she posted on Twitter.

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