OPPOSITION political parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) banner have vowed to defy police orders if they are refused permission to march in central Harare.
Speaking to hundreds of supporters at Freedom Square Wednesday, NERA Legal Chairman and MDC-T Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora complained that the ruling Zanu PF party was allowed to demonstrate at “anytime, anywhere so time has come for opposition to do the same because Zimbabwe belongs to everyone”.
“So, the next time we give police a notice to demonstrate and they deny us the opportunity to do so, we will ignore their orders and demonstrate,” he said.
“We have been refused to have our meeting in Africa Unity Square and we view this as discrimination by the government.
“We are not allowed to demonstrate and yet Zanu PF is allowed to demonstrate anywhere, anytime whilst for opposition we go through many processes just to gather and address our people. From now on, it is Itai Dzamara Square!”
Mwonzora continued: “We are also not allowed to present petitions and Zanu PF is allowed to present its petitions to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and we fundamentally object to discrimination of a black person by a black government.
“From now onwards, we are not going to allow police to suppress our demonstrations. We will do so in a place of our choice and interest.
“Whether they agree or not, we have given them the chance, we have displayed that we are law abiding citizens and that we are reasonable and sensible citizens too.
“But we cannot continue to be suppressed by a black government. We are predominantly black people and we cannot allow oppression by black on black.
“Zanu PF is demonstrating everyday against itself and opposition has not been allowed a chance to do so, this is unacceptable.”
Out in force … Riot cops in central Harare on Wednesday
The MDC-T official accused the government of spending more time discussing issues to do with Zanu PF factions without paying attention to problems the country is facing.
As the opposition parties were having their rally, a politburo meeting was taking place a few meters away at the Zanu PF headquarters.