By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Bulawayo, September 06, 2016 – POLICE in Bulawayo have banned the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s first anniversary celebrations which the party had set for this coming weekend, citing the existence of Statutory Instrument 101A of 2016 which decrees a two-week ban on Harare demonstrations.
The rally had been planned for White City Arena in Bulawayo on September 11.
“The police were citing the unconstitutional Statutory Instrument 101A, a statute only applicable to Harare central business district,” said the party in a statement on Monday.
The ban was communicated to the party’s Bulawayo provincial leadership by Officer Commanding Bulawayo West Police District Chief Superintendent Manzini Moyo.
Moyo also cited alleged plans by unidentified protesters to cause many acts of sabotage which involved plans to bomb the ZBC, the Herald in Harare, ZIMRA offices among some of the reasons he would not allow the opposition rally to proceed.
He further said in his written response protesters also planned to destroy all police stations and police properties, destroy all roadblocks with fire, blow all government vehicles and buildings and to attack all members of the prison services and release all prisoners in jail.
“We do not take these threats lightly and we have remained on high alert since the 1st of September 2016, a situation which has strained our resource utilisation,” Manzini said.
“We advise that your intended event be delayed up to such a time when security threat levels reduce to normal.
“In this regard, I invoke the provisions of Section 26 (9) of the public Order and Security Act Chapter 11:17.”
Following the ban, PDP vowed to approach the courts to challenge the police directive.
This comes after the country has experienced a wave of anti-government protests the state fears could easily turn into a fully blown uprising against the Zanu PF led regime.
Citizens have turned up the heat on their government for failure to deliver on its 2013 election promises, top among them and end to massive poverty, joblessness, corruption among a host of unfulfilled promises.
Instead, government officials have resorted to their usual excuses of blaming western imposed sanctions on their failure to deliver while the auditor general continues to report massive plunder by the same officials.