Police officers from the notorious Machipisa and Southerton Police Station had advised the MDC-T officials and supporters that their meeting could not go ahead because it was being held during the evening and therefore prone to violent attacks from other political parties.
The MDC-T supporters maintained their stance that they had properly notified the police about their intention to hold the meeting within the stipulated time in terms of the law and declined to leave the venue.
Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone later told the over 250 supporters at the venue that she had to call police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri so that the meeting where
Tsvangirai was to address could proceed as planned.
“There is no curfew in this country and therefore no-one should tell us when and where we should have our meetings as a party. You are aware that we could not hold this meeting last week because the police claimed we had not advised them in advance. We have followed the laws of this country and this meeting should go ahead,” said Makone.
She said the country could not afford a police force that is political.
“We don’t deserve police officers who behave like political commissars of Zanu (PF),” she said.
Tsvangirai told his party supporters that the inclusive government was not a permanent establishment and that they should brace for “violent free” elections next year.
“We are not going to pull out of the GNU because we were elected by the people despite all the challenges that we are facing. The constitutional making process is that we are in is going to give us a transitional document that will help us get into the elections according to the GPA,” said Tsvangirai.
He said his party has noticed that the constitutional outreach meetings were not transparent after villagers were terrorised by state security agents.
“We want an election which shall observe the will of the people and would free, fair and credible,” he said.
Tsvangirai also had an opportunity to respond to questions from the supporters who were mainly worried about the violence from war veterans led by Jabulani Sibanda, diasporans’ right to vote and their rights to assembly freely without being arrested by the state security
The MDC-T leader said the ongoing constitutional making process was meant to provide answers to the majority of the questions but has since proved to be a defective process with the involvement of the military.
He declined to discuss his party’s strategy to respond to the Zanu PF’s violent campaign method being spearheaded by Sibanda in rural areas.
MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti also told the supporters that his party was fully behind the leadership of Tsvagirai and urged them to remain united.
“We are one political party with one clear vision of delivering democracy to Zimbabwe. You now know what your party can do ever since we got into the inclusive government in 2009. The schools and hospitals were not working but the MDC has managed to breathe new life
into all that,” said Biti.
He urged the supporters to come in their numbers for the “replay” of the constitutional outreach meetings that will be held in Harare on 30 and 31 October 2010. The meetings will be held 42 centres that we disrupted by rowdy political party supporters last month.