Below is a statement released by MDC on ZRP ban of public gatherings, including the party’s anniversary celebrations.

Earlier yesterday the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) received full permission from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to go ahead with its planned gathering for its anniversary on Saturday the l5the of September 2018. However, by mid-morning President Nelson Chamisa visited cholera-affected areas in Glen View, Harare, meeting with patients and health professionals and assessing the response to the outbreak.

The President witnessed for himself the situation and tasked the Harare Mayor to do everything possible to deal any challenges and called on the government to play a positive role. He also invited other stakeholders to chip in and provide assistance as necessary. By the time the President was about to live the clinic, the perimeter was thronged by tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who had got wind of the President Nelson Chemisa’s presence.

These citizens were requesting to be addressed by the President and chanting, ‘The People’s President!’ The President progressed to Budiriro where he visited families that were mourning their loved ones. As he made his may to the first home-visit throngs of Zimbabweans once again quickly gathered around the venue again chanting, ‘The People’s President’.

At this time there were reports that cars belonging to the military intelligence had deployed in the area, which did not bother citizens. It was not long after that Harare also saw the deployment of military helicopters, that circled the city. This was followed by the deployment of the ZRP spokesperson to issue a statement banning all public events including the one that the MDC had received permission for.

The statement used Cholera as an excuse, although it is elm that this epidemic is currently limited to and contained within specific areas of Harare. Between the issuance of permission by ZRP and its cancellation was the evidence of tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who thronged the streets in Glen View to talk to President Chamisa.

Illegitimate governments are always fully threatened by citizens and fear seeing them together. These illegal attempts by ZRP to cancel events on health grounds are an excuse for ZANU PF’s fear of citizens.

They clearly show that President Mnangagwa knows that he lost the election and is operating this country on the bases of martial law and perpetual state of emergency to protect himself from democracy.

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