Police on Monday said the Zanu-PF conference was set to be “one of the largest gatherings this year in Bulawayo.”
“Some rogue elements of society always want to capitalise on the large gatherings to display how uncouth and unreasonable they may become,” Bulawayo police said in statement to the media.
“Political gatherings are the best platforms of arraying the critical tenets of democracy – freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of movement among others.
“Indeed it’s time to give democracy a chance. As ZRP, we will not take a back seat and watch whilst some unruly elements disturb peace of this beautiful City of Kings.”
Acting officer commanding police Bulawayo province Assistant Commissioner Christopher Gora is quoted in the same statement saying: “Police will not condone any action, which is likely to disturb peace and the smooth running of the conference and threaten the security of delegates.”
Early this month, police in Matabeleland North blocked Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from holding rallies in Victoria Falls and Lupane claiming they had no manpower.
But at the Zanu-PF conference, the Bulawayo police said they had adequately deployed on every street.
“As such members of the public are urged to desist from carrying firearms, knobkerries or perform any acts likely to provoke or incite violence in the run up to and soon after the conference.
“We expect higher level of political maturity to all participants and maximum cooperation from all delegates.
The Zanu-PF conference will be held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change held its congress in April at the much bigger Barbourfields Stadium and police presence was not that pronounced.