Police ban MISA meeting

police__great_zim_universityGWANDA - Police here last week banned a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) organized community meeting on community radio stations initiatives which was supposed to be held at Ntebe business centre.

Plain clothes police officers from the law and order section banned the meeting claiming that the meeting was illegal under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

“I wrote to police in Gwanda advising them of the meeting as a requirement under POSA and the police gave me the go ahead with the meeting. When we were about to start the meeting a police officer in plain clothes demanded a clearance certificate,” said Mvelo Zondo , the chairperson of the MISA Gwanda advocacy meeting who organized the meeting.

Zondo said when he tried to show the police officer the letter which he had written to the police in Gwanda asking for the clearance, he refused to cooperate and insisted that the meeting should not go ahead.

After a heated argument with the police Zondo said the committee decided to abandon the meeting.

“After what had happened we addressed the gathering which included the local chief of the area, chief Nhlamba and told them that the meeting had been cancelled. We had already prepared food and transported people from all over. Some people had come all the way from MISA head office in Harare,” said Zondo.

MISA board member Tapfuma Machakaire, who travelled to Gwanda to attend the aborted meeting expressed disappointment over the police’s decision to ban the community meeting.

“As MISA we had gone to Gwanda South to assist the community in coming up with a community radio station. The people in the area were so excited about the project since the area does not receive any radio or television transmission from ZBC,” said Machakaire.

Machakaire said MISA would take up the issue with relevant authorities in government.

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