Alexa

Zimbabwe opposition say ruling party militants prevent MDC from holding campaign rally

Zimbabwe opposition say ruling party militants prevent MDC from holding campaign rally

Opposition officials accused ruling party militants of preventing the Movement for Democratic Change from holding a rally Sunday, a day after a court lifted a ban on opposition rallies.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said President Robert Mugabe's supporters cordoned off the area where opposition leaders were to speak in a Harare suburb, forcing the opposition to cancel the rally.
However, two other gatherings will go ahead as planned in Harare, Chamisa said. A court on Saturday had struck down a police ban on opposition rallies.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, meanwhile, continued campaigning Sunday in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second main city, his spokesman George Sibotshiwe said.
Tsvangirai faces off against Mugabe in a presidential runoff on June 27. Tsvangirai won the most votes in the first round in March but not enough to avoid a runoff.
Also Sunday, a court ordered police to release opposition lawmaker Eric Matinenga, who was taken from his home Saturday and detained at a station outside the capital. He was accused of fomenting violence, lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said.
Matinenga, also detained on similar charges earlier in the week but released due to lack of evidence, is among scores of opposition activists arrested in recent weeks. Matinenga, himself an attorney, has represented opposition leaders in a string of high-profile court cases.
The opposition and rights groups cite a rise in violence and intimidation in the run-up to the vote and some Zimbabweans worry that Mugabe will try to steal the election.
Tsvangirai's party, blaming state agents, says at least 60 of its supporters have been slain in the past two months.
Tsvangirai, who his party says has been the target of at least three assassination attempts, left Zimbabwe after the March vote but returned in late May to campaign for the runoff.


Updated : 2021-02-28 20:53 GMT+08:00