Crossover Rally-Police Hypocrisy Exposed

By Professor Matodzi   Harare, July 27, 2013-The hypocrisy of Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was exposed Saturday after the law enforcement agency reversed its ban of a rally organized by the MDC-T in a final reach out to the electorate ahead of Wednesday’s harmonized elections. The ZRP through Chief Superintendent Titus Chagwedera, the Officer Commanding Harare Central District had on Friday  cancelled an MDC-T campaign rally in Harare on the grounds that the law enforcement agency did not have enough police personnel to cover the rally after deploying them to polling stations around the country to secure some election material. However, in a major climb down, Chagwedera later on reversed the ban and sanctioned the MDC-T to proceed with its rally although he imposed some stringent conditions on it. He said no party supporters from outside Harare would be allowed to attend the rally and no toyi-toying should be done before, during and after the rally. Chief Superintendent Chagwedera said the police will keep an eye on the conduct of the MDC-T supporters during the rally even though he had indicated that the ZRP had no manpower to do so in his correspondence to the party on Friday 26 July 2013. The police boss warned that all sections of the security forces would “monitor the situation”. Zimbabweans go to the polls on Wednesday 31 July 2013 to elect a new government that will take over from the fragile coalition government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe formed almost five years ago to stem the country’s political and economic crisis. Meanwhile, Mutare Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo on Saturday released on $30 bail Shuwa Mudiwa, the MDC-T aspiring parliamentary candidate for Mutare West constituency, who was arrested early in the morning for allegedly convening a meeting without securing police authority.   Mudiwa was charged with contravening Section 25 (1) (b) of the Public Order and Security Act after he allegedly convened a meeting at Mashuka shuka Business Centre, Marange, in Manicaland province on 26 July 2013. He was represented by Chris Ndlovu of Gonese Ndlovu Legal Practitioners and Blessing Nyamaropa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.