By Bulawayo Correspondent
POLICE in Bulawayo have denied Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) permission to hold its rally in a high-density suburb claiming there was an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in a neighbouring suburb.
The party ‘s national organising secretary, Partone Xaba told NewZimbabwe.com that on Thursday last week, he notified the police about the party’s intention to hold a rally at Tshabalala Hall on the 29th of February 2020.
Xaba said since then, the party has been following up on its application but could not get any response as the regulatory authority was said to be attending a funeral in Buhera.
“When we finally met the regulatory authority yesterday (Thursday), he told us that we cannot proceed with our rally because there is an outbreak of coronavirus in Emganwini suburb which is close to Tshabalala.
“We were shocked by this response because as far as we know, there is only one case of suspected coronavirus in the country which was reported in Harare.
“We view this just as a silly excuse to deny us our constitutional right to freedom of association and assembly.”
Xaba vowed to go ahead with the rally despite the ban.
“We are going ahead with our rally as planned. If there is coronavirus outbreak in Bulawayo as police claim, why is it that schools and church gatherings have not been banned?” he said.
Coronavirus, also known as 2019 –nCoV was first discovered in Wuhan, central China on December 31, 2019.
It has killed many and has also spread to several other world countries.
China has put up a spirited attempt to combat the disease while world countries have also put up measures to try and block the disease from entering their countries.
Zimbabwe has not yet recorded a single coronavirus case.