Mugabe lifts ban on MDC-T rallies

Posted: 08/03/2011 in GPA, MDC-T, Mugabe, Police, Politics, Tsvangirai, ZANU-PF

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Monday said
President Robert Mugabe had agreed to have a
police “ ban ” on MDC-T rallies lifted .
Observers said it was not clear whether the ban
was a calculated move by the police to maintain
law and order in the wake of political violence
or acts by overzealous and partisan officers
singing for their supper .
Monday Tsvangirai reportedly met the 87 -year –
old former guerilla leader to discuss the ban on
public gatherings, especially those of the MDC-T
and other organisations perceived to be anti –
Zanu PF .
“ The Prime Minister and the President met
today and agreed that all meetings should be
allowed to proceed ,” said Luke Tamborinyoka ,
the Prime Minister ’ s spokesperson .
“ The two agreed that there is no instruction to
stop any meetings as insinuated by overzealous
police officers who enforced a non- existent
instruction to stop the people of Zimbabwe from
exercising their constitutional right of assembly. ”
Tamborinyoka said there was a general
agreement that the government was under no
threat to justify prohibition of public meetings .
“ Moreover, Cabinet met last week and agreed
that there was no threat to the inclusive
government to warrant a ban on public
meetings , ” Tamborinyoka said.
“ According to the GPA , executive authority in
the country is shared between the President , the
Prime Minister and Cabinet . That all of them
have not sanctioned any ban on public
meetings can only mean that whoever is
tampering with the people’ s freedom of
assembly is either being deliberately
mischievous or has a parallel government
agenda. ”
He added : “ The President and the Prime
Minister agreed that there is no state of
emergency in the country ; that the people’ s
rights must be respected ; and that there is no
instruction from anyone to stop public
meetings . ”
George Charamba, President Mugabe ’ s
spokesperson , yesterday said he was not yet
aware of any such meeting between the
President and the Prime Minister .
“ I don’ t have that information as yet , but when I
left at around 1 pm I had not heard about the
meeting , I am not sure if he ( the President ) met
the PM. Let me find out and get back to you,”
Charamba said .
But by the time of going to print , Charamba had
not honoured his word .
Repeated efforts to contact him proved fruitless
thereafter.
Weekend reports said the police had banned
public meetings throughout the country .
The ban had been put in place ahead of the
MDC-T congress in May and possible elections
being agitated for by Zanu PF much to the
chagrin of GPA facilitator South African
President Jacob Zuma .
The ban mainly affected the MDC-T because
Zanu PF gatherings and demonstrations are
usually blessed by the police .
The MDC- T is holding restructuring meetings
ahead of its elective congress, but the ban had
adversely affected the exercise .
On Saturday , the police allegedly barred the
MDC-T from holding meetings in Mashonaland
East , West and Bulawayo provinces with
weekend reports suggesting the police and army
were on high alert amid reports of possible
disturbances in the country .
Former MDC-T MP Munyaradzi Gwisai is
languishing in remand prison charged with
treason for allegedly trying to incite an Egypt –
type revolution in Zimbabwe.
He reportedly invited political activists to watch
a video of the North African protests which
brought down Egypt ’ s strongman Hosni
Mubarak .
In a similar but unrelated incident , three top
members of a Bulawayo- based party, Mthwakazi
Liberation Front , also face treason charges after
they allegedly distributed fliers inciting people to
disobey President Mugabe’ s rule.
If convicted they face the death penalty . Last
week, planned demonstrations against political
violence failed to take off after a heavy
deployment of police and soldiers .
However , Zanu PF was allowed to hold its rally
at the Glamis Arena last Wednesday where
President Mugabe launched his anti -sanctions
campaign .

KELVIN JAKACHIRA /FELUNA NLEYA | HARARE
– Mar 07 2011 20 : 02
http://www.newsday.to.zw

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