By Blessed Mhlanga
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa on Friday had his planned clean-up campaign stopped by police in Chitungwiza, with the law enforcement agents advising him to instead join President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s nationwide clean-up initiative normally held in the first week of each month.
The campaign was scheduled for Unit L in Chitungwiza, but armed police barricaded the area early in the morning and ordered MDC supporters to disperse before the arrival of their leader.
A police prohibition order dated January 30 and signed by officer commanding Chitungwiza district, a Chief Superintendent S Mujiwa read:
“Your letter dated 23 January is hereby acknowledged. We are of the opinion that you join others in the presidential clean-up campaign, which is carried out on the first Friday of every month.”
The letter was addressed to Chitungwiza South MP, Maxwell Mavhunga (MDC Alliance).
Chamisa blasted the police for being partisan and behaving like a “vigilante organisation”.
“This is abuse of the law. The actions by the police resemble a vigilante organisation. By law we only notify the police and not seek their permission. We are putting them on notice that we will not be deterred by their actions,” said Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda.
“The president (Chamisa) would have proceeded today to the clean-up. He just had a pressing commitment as he was in a national executive council meeting which he is still addressing at the moment,” Sibanda said.
The MDC has vowed to defy future police prohibition orders it considers as illegal.
Speaking in South Africa early this week, the youthful opposition leader raised concern that State security agents and the ruling Zanu PF party treated his party like a terrorist organisation, banning its activities and beating up its supporters. NewsDay