Police block MRP rally citing security threats

A Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) Umkhombandlela rally, set for Thursday at Stanley Square Hall in Bulawayo has been postponed by police who claimed they were ordered to postpone all political gatherings until after Christmas for security reasons. 

MRP officials claimed the police alleged that the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party had also threatened to protest on the same day.

Initially, MRP was granted permission to hold their rally when they notified the authorities three weeks ago but police later wrote to party officials stating the rally had to be postponed to a later date due to “perceived security threats.”

“Reference is being given to our consultations [meetings) with Thompson
 NDLOVU the MRP Organising Secretary for Bulawayo Province and Thembisa MPOFU. The MRP National Chairman, on 18 and 19 December 2023 in terms of section 8(3) of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) pertaining to the above subject matter,” read the letter from Chief Superintendent N Ushe, Officer Commanding Bulawayo West District.

“The Police and your party representatives mentioned above mutually agreed that the intended meeting which was scheduled for 21 December 2023 from 0900 – 1700 hours be postponed to a later date due to the perceived security threats.”

After receiving this letter, MRP officials sought an audience with the police who explained the reason behind the new order.

The rally will now be held on January 13, next year.

According to an MRP official, the Umkhombandlela rally served as a platform for members to chart the party’s future course.

“We wanted to unpack the revolutionary stances that we will take in the coming year. This police act has destroyed our plans and affected the logistics of our members who had already travelled in anticipation. Some members were coming from South Africa, Botswana and other faraway places locally,” the official said.

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