POLICE in Harare yesterday reportedly ordered opposition parties under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) to change the venue of tomorrow’s planned feedback rally from the city centre, citing security concerns.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The rally had been scheduled to take place at Africa Unity Square, but police ordered Nera members to meet at an open space opposite the Harare Showgrounds.
Nera legal representative and MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the development, saying they might be forced to oblige with the police directive.
“They (Joint Operations Command) said we should continue with our feedback rally, but they said we should move to Freedom Square because there is an international ministerial conference at Meikles Hotel,” he said.
“The rally is going on, but we have not agreed on the venue as yet. We wanted to do this at Africa Unity Square, but we are reviewing our position in view of the reason given, but definitely we will have the feedback rally on Wednesday (tomorrow),” Mwonzora added.
Police recently sanctioned the rally, but imposed stringent conditions reportedly to curb incidents of violence.
The rally is meant to update opposition activists on the police ban on demonstrations against procurement of biometric voting registration kits by government and its reluctance to implement electoral reforms.
Tomorrow’s rally comes at a time when leaders from various opposition parties met last week to map the way forward, after having declared a deadlock with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
They declared an electoral crisis and now want Zec disbanded and allow the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations to conduct the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe.