POLICE unsuccessfully tried to block an MDC-T rally scheduled for tomorrow at an open space opposite Rainbow Towers in Harare, saying they did not have adequate manpower after deploying officers for Wednesday’s polls.
Initially the police said the rally, dubbed the “Cross-over to the new Zimbabwe” could not go ahead, although they reversed the decision later in the day.
In a letter written on Friday to the MDC-T, the officer commanding police Harare District, Titus Chagwedera, said the force had already deployed personnel to polling stations “where they are securing election and government materials”.
“We have no extra personnel to spare so that they cover your intended rally,” he wrote.
“Some of our personnel have been deployed to some other provinces to augment the strength of such provinces.”
Chagwedera said holding of the rally had not been sanctioned “and should not be allowed to take place as the absence of police officers from the rally may culminate in political violence”. MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti said yesterday his party would file an urgent court application for the rally to go ahead.
It was not yet clear at the time of going to print why the police had reversed their decision.
Ironically, the police sanctioned several Zanu PF rallies due to take place today and tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Biti alleged the party had received information that additional ballot papers had been printed on Friday bringing the total to 8,9 million, more than the number of registered voters.
“They are busy printing ballot papers with duplicate serial numbers, particularly on the special vote, meaning that another special vote can take place and the ballot that took place on July 14 and 15 can be displaced,” he told a Press conference yesterday.
The Registrar-General’s Office said 6,4 million people are registered to vote on Wednesday.
Biti said the voters’ roll has not been released to political parties three days before the polls meaning that they will not have time to audit and sign it off.
In a letter to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, Biti said the party was “deeply concerned with the continuous reproductions of omissions and commissions connected to this election”.