Police Bar MDC To Hold Public Meetings

The meeting, expected to be addressed by Tsvangirai, had been aimed at reporting back to the party supporters on the current tensions currently troubling the unity government.

The MDC said police at Southerton police station had stopped the meeting that was supposed to take place at Cyril Jennings Hall in Highfield suburb.

Nelson Chamisa, the party’s spokesperson, told Radio VOP: “The police said we must have given a seven day notice.We will not break the law as we are not anarchists.We will go ahead to notify them and continue with our meetings next week.”

According to the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) any political organisation or public grouping must notify the police if they are holding a meeting which will be attended by more than four people.

“According to the Harare provincial chairperson, Senator Morgan Femai, the police were notified by the MDC Harare provincial secretary, Tsaurai Marima of their intention to hold the meeting but the police turned down the application on pathetic grounds claiming they had not been informed in advance.”

The MDC launched the consultative meetings on Tuesday in Mabvuku where Tsvangirai said President Robert Mugabe’s appointment of ambassadors were ‘unlawful’ as he was not consulted.

Mugabe has denied this saying he is empowered by the constitution to appoint the ambassadors without consulting Tsvangirai. The leader of the MDC smaller faction, Arthur Mutambara, told Parliament on Wednesday that Mugabe had a legal right to make the appointments.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai failed to meet in their regular ‘Monday meetings’ at their offices due to the current tensions in the unity government.

Meanwhile police also banned the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) from staging a demonstration against a school headmaster accused of corruption and maladministration at a Dzivarasekwa School in Harare.

The militant PTUZ had notified the police of their intention to stage a demonstration on Thursday at Gombo Primary School in Dzivarasekwa, to protest against maladministration and corrupt tendencies leveled against the school headmaster only identified as Wafawanaka.

PTUZ national treasurer Ladistous Zunde said teachers affiliated to his union and parents in Dzivarasekwa had intended to protest against Wafawanaka whom they accused of flouting tender procedures in procuring material for use at the school, victimization of teachers and maladministration.

“The community is disgruntled by the headmaster who is always protected by the powers that be. The headmaster sometimes addresses teachers while in police uniform to intimidate them because he is also a member of the neighbourhood watch in Dzivarasekwa,” said Zunde.

But the officer commanding Harare South District only identified as Chief Superintendent Chagwedera under which Dzivarasekwa falls on Wednesday refused to sanction the demonstration.

Chagwedera said the demonstration would inconvenience ongoing examinations at the school and directed the PTUZ to report the case against Wafawanaka to the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture.