Speaking to Radio VOP from Nkayi last night smaller MDC deputy secretary general, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu who is also National Healing Minister said heavily armed police stopped an MDC rally at Gonye business centre and fired teargas to disperse villagers who had gathered for their first rally.
The party’s second rally which was scheduled for today (Friday) at Subhamu Business Centre in the same Nkayi district was also barred by police.
“Our party supporters who had gathered at the venue of the first rally at Gonye business centre were beaten up, tear gassed and chased away by more than 10 armed police officers in riot gear led by Nkayi Police Station Officer in Charge, Inspector Mapurazi.
“When we approached the police together with our party President (Welshman Ncube) to enquire why they stopped our meeting, they said they had instructions from above to ban all MDC rallies in Nkayi,”said MzIla-Ndlovu.
Mzila- Ndovu said riot police also harassed the party leaders including President Ncube who had gathered at Nkayi Senator Robsen Makula’s homestead after the rally was disrupted.
“After the disruption of our rally we gathered at our Senator for Nkayi, Makula’s homestead nearby to re-strategise but two riot police officers accompanied by Inspector Mapurazi followed and harassed us. There are still camped at Makula’s homestead and they want to make sure, all our leaders who had come here for the rallies leave,” he said.
The National Healing Minister blamed the Matebeleland North Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai for the ban of their rallies, saying he is a Zanu-PF activist who will never allow the two MDC formations to campaign in that province.
In October police in the same Matebeleland North province banned three rallies for MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for no apparent reasons.
The rallies were supposed to be held in Victoria Falls, Binga and Lupane.
After the ban of his rallies, Tsvangirai described the move as frustrating saying police were still acting as Zanu-PF activists despite the formation of a unity government in Zimbabwe.