Sekai Holland: MDC Star Rally Latest

Who said living in Zimbabwe would be so exciting!!

Sad Update – Back From Zimbabwe Grounds!

It was a bad start to our attempted entry into Zimbabwe Grounds at Highfield just then. The most surprised of all is Mr Marima, Harare province MDC Secretary, who was informed earlier by Police this morning, that they were withdrawing from the grounds, and that the MDC gathered crowds could come into Zimbabwe grounds to hold their Rally. Marima with those gathered, led the jubilant entry, all to be severely assaulted by Police, still inside the Grounds. The crowds in shock are defending themselves from this unexpected assault, we were told as we arrived. The place is crawling with Police.

Farai Mariri, Harare Province Treasurer, who was with Secretary Marima when the good news was passed onto the Province by Police, in the public hearing of most there, that all was well now with the Rally, is now briefing the entire gathered, holding a copy of the Court Order, allowing MDC to go ahead with the Rally, in the absence of the badly injured person in charge, Marima, of details of what happened.

When we all arrived after being advised that the Police had cleared the Rally, led by the President Tsvangirai himself, we found the Zimbabwe Grounds blocked to us by Police, heavilly armed, with reinforcement of 3 brand new looking Israeli made military water tanks for rioters. There were
Police everywhere, inside they were teargassing those in the grounds.

The President’s convoy was prevented from entering, we were however advised to go to the local Police station with the Court order for the Senior Police Officer on duty to see the Order for himself. The President, accompanied by the National Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri and others went there, on the way there we met 3 more Israeli water tanks rushing fully maaned and equipped to the Zimbabwe Grounds. I have just been dropped to update everyone and then to go back to the others at Zimbabwe Grounds, where we have all agreed to reconverge when the President returns form the Police Station.

And so in changed clothes for the new situation including being arrested en mass this afternoon, I now sign off to return to Highfields to join the
others!

Sekai Holland
Harare
1.15 pm Sunday
18 February 2007

LATEST

I just finished getting dressed up in my Party regalia, all red, for today’s rally, done a final check with our local information back up for your
benefit all, when on my final call to find out if we can now proceed with Plan B, given the Police cordon around our venue, the Harare Provincial
Secretary, Marima, person in charge today, in the absence of the Hon, Paul Madzore, MP for Glenview, also our Harare Province Organising Secretary, who remains in custody today, and handed over to the Law and Order Section last
night, since his arrest yesterday, Marima has just told me that, just a minute ago, the ZRP, Police cordon began to melt off Zimbabwe Grounds, at
Highfield, after finally being served with the Court order nullifying their refusal that MDC hold its rally there today.

According to his eyewitness report Marima says that the Highfield community and guests had gathered outside the grounds, as per the announced time of 10 am, entertainment and speakers were all present, to hold the rally as
scheduled. These are all now jubilantly pouring into the grounds as the ZRP, exhausted, after a night of heavilly bashing up defenseless, peaceful MDC youths, vacates!

We will keep you informed!

Sekai Holland
Harare, 18 February 2007

Update to MDC Rally Today

The tradition to all MDC rallies countrywide wherever they are scheduled, is that the Party Youth Assembly secures the grounds the evening before, to ensure non tampering of the place and equipment by hostile elements around.

Our Youth Assembly, under the watchful leadership of its Chairperson, the courageous and determined Tamsanqa Mahlangu, provides this impeccable security, which has never failed us, since the time of its previous outstanding Chairpersons, the late eminent Learnmore Jongwe, our founding Youth Assembly Chairperson, and his succeccor, the eloquent and outstanding young legislator, our current Spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, as we have never met with any mishaps whenever this facility was provided for us by this well orientated Party Youth wing.

Last night 200 of these Youths were at work, guarding the Zimbabwe grounds, our venue today, in preparation for today’s historic rally, when the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) came in, and beat them up badly. The Police story is that the MDC Rally is forbidden, the permit to hold the gathering, refused. As I write the MDC Spokesperson Nelson Chamisa is driving to
Highfield Police Station, to take the Court ruling, which permits the Rally to take place today, to show them, so that our Youths picked up and
arrested last night during the beating, are released.

There is a huge tight Police cordon around the Zimbabwe Grounds Highfield Stadium to bar and disallow MDC holding its rally there today. There are roadblocks throughout the city leading to Highfield. Those that have already begun their journey there are ringing us to give us these updates of their painful trip towards the rally grounds.

These are the start to the day’s historic events!

UPDATE BELOW TO ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has won the Court case this afternoon, after Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) sent a strong letter instructing MDC not to hold its Rally as planned tomorrow.

MDC can now hold its Star Rally at Highfields Constituency held by Hon MDC MP for Highfield, Pearson Mungofa at historic ‘Zimbabwe Grounds’ at 10 am Sunday February 18, Chinese New Year of the Golden Pig!

The ZRP refused permission forcing the Party to go to Court for Justice. The decision was made and announced at 5pm this afternoon.

Please pass this information to news networks. These events are part of MDC and Civil society’s peaceful fight towards a lasting resolution to
Zimbabwe’s crisis by getting Mugabe to the negotiating table to talk with all stakeholders.

Updates to come

Meanwhile our Secretary General Hon Tendai Biti MP for Harare East, is in Police custody today, at Harare Central where he was picked up today, as
well as Last Maengahama who is MDC National Executive Committee (NEC) member and Deputy Secretary for Local Government. Hon. MP for Glen View and Provincial Organising Secretary, Paul Madzore is in custody for the second time in three months for yesterday’s successful peaceful demonstrations in Harare. Several MDC stalwarts who were at those demonstrations had their
homes raided last night, many were arrested and remain in custody today.

On the Police wanted list where names include Grace Kwinjeh and Hon Wilas Madzimure MP for Kambuzuma, Police are searching for those on it, and picking them up for questioning. The list is long and supposedly is of the Democratic Resistance Campaign (DRC) leaders.

Sekai Holland
Harare, 17 February 2007

Update:
SG Tendai Biti is now being held at Rhodesville Police Station in Harare. Not so good news has just come in from a group of women who are organising in each of Harare’s constituencies through the night for the rally tomorrow.

As they were passing through Harare East, they went to Rhodesville Police station to see those in custody there. They found that our SG’s Mum was not allowed to see her son Tendai Biti. The Police told her nicely that cases in their hands of Politicians are always difficult for them to deal with. But that she could not see her son. The women took Bitis sad Mum back to her home. They were also advised that MP for Glen View, Paul Madzore has now been transferred back to ‘Law and Order’ Section at Harare Central. This
they said is not good news. Tonight is a busy night for everyone!

Sekai Holland
17 February 2007

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