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'One rule for Zanu-PF, another rule for others' over sanctions march

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF party has called anti-sanctions protests for Harare on Thursday, two weeks after authorities banned countrywide protests by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zanu-PF's secretary for administration Obert Mpofu told state media on Monday that the march is "in support of SADC member states who are calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union."

"We want to make it a national event. The solidarity march will include the government, civil society, students, the business community and all political parties, among others. The event is open to everyone," Mpofu said.

"Mnangagwa would address the marchers," he added.

Police used a string of excuses to refuse the MDC permission to march through the country's major urban centres, notably that they feared the demonstrations would descend into violence and they did not have the manpower to police the protesters.

Anti-riot police used truncheons and tear gas to disperse crowds in Harare on August 16.

In Bulawayo, police told the MDC: "The ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing hardships so any call for the demonstrations might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence might erupt."

MDC spokesman Daniel Molokele said if the march was allowed to go ahead, that would be proof that there is one rule for Zanu-PF and another rule for others.

"We don't have the full details yet about their march, but obviously we are aware that there's no difference between the state government and Zanu-PF and as such it's likely that we are going to have Zanu-PF having a different system in terms of the implementation of law and order in the country," Molokele told ZimLive.

"We will be observing closely whether Zanu-PF is going to be treated differently from the MDC."

Police waited until just hours before the MDC protests planned for Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare before issuing prohibition orders banning the demonstrations.

It was unclear on Monday if Zanu-PF had received a response from the police after receiving notification of the party's planned march.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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