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MDC anniversary celebrations hang in the balance, as police ban public gatherings

The Movement for Democratic Change anniversary celebrations slated for Harare this Saturday are likely to be postponed after police banned all public gatherings due to the Cholera outbreak in the city.

The Movement for Democratic Change anniversary celebrations slated for Harare this Saturday are likely to be postponed after police banned all public gatherings due to the Cholera outbreak in the city.

The Cholera outbreak has already claimed 21 lives in the capital, with government declared a state of emergency.

The mainstream opposition party were due to celebrate their 19th anniversary on Saturday at Gwanzura Stadium.

However, police said they would not sanction any public gatherings.

“The government has declared the Cholera outbreak in Harare a state of emergency meaning that it is also a threat to human security,” said ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to inform members of the public that in light of the declaration of the state of emergency, the Police in Harare will not allow any public gatherings.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing to members of the public to take heed of this warning and cooperate as this will assist in alleviating the continuous spread of Cholera”.

Contacted for a comment, MDC presidential spokesperson Dr Nkululeko Sibanda was adamant that there was no correlation between the Cholera outbreak and their planned celebrations.

“The Cholera outbreak is contained, the source of the problem has been identified and quarantined and action has been taken, there seems to be no correlation between our event and the Cholera outbreak,” said Dr Sibanda.

“It would seem that this is being used as an excuse as usual to target MDC events and in this case, the real target of the excuse is the MDC 19TH anniversary event”.

Quizzed if they would defy the police ban and go ahead with their celebrations, Dr Sibanda, were yet to make a determination.

“The leadership is yet to identify an appropriate response but obviously they are telling us no, which is fairly late for us to take remedial action or even change the venue of the anniversary without incurring unnecessary expenses,” he said.

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