MDC denied permission to protest for electoral reforms by police
HARARE – The police have denied the opposition party MDC the permission to hold a peaceful demonstration in Harare, citing the party’s failure to comply with the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).
The MDC Acting Secretary for Information & Publicity, Aaron Makahamadze, expressed his disappointment and frustration at the police giving a vague and unsatisfactory response to the party’s notification of the planned protest.
“We are deeply dismayed by the rejection of our right to peacefully assemble and voice our opinions, which is a fundamental cornerstone of our Constitution. The denial of this right is a serious blow to our democracy,” Makahamadze said.
“This is not an isolated incident, but a clear example of the closure of democratic space in the country. The state has contradicted the very essence of a free and open society by denying us the opportunity to express our concerns, grievances, and aspirations.
We also note that this is part of a wider pattern of challenges faced by our party. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Judiciary recently barred us from participating in the forthcoming harmonised elections scheduled for the 23rd of August, 2023. This has effectively resulted in the denial of representation for 87 of our candidates and the potential gross disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of people, who have been unjustly denied their right to vote.
“Sadly, it seems that the hope for justice within the country’s judiciary is dwindling. We will not be silenced or deterred in our pursuit of justice and equality for all. Our commitment to the principles of democracy remains unshaken and we are in the process of formulating our next steps in this ongoing struggle for the freedom and rights of the people of Zimbabwe.
“We call upon all those who believe in the principles of democracy, justice, and human rights to stand with us during these challenging times. Together, we can create a better and more inclusive Zimbabwe for all.”