MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairperson Gift Banda told Southern Eye yesterday that the police had sanctioned today’s celebrations to be held at White City Stadium under the theme MDC @17: Redefining the End Game.
He urged Bulawayo residents, including those supporting other political parties, to gather at the stadium to celebrate the party’s 17-year journey and to forge alliances ahead of the next general elections.
“Everything is in place. We got the clearance letter on time and we had (by yesterday) not received any last-minute communication to the effect that the celebrations cannot go ahead as planned,” Banda said in a telephone interview.
The Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) one-year anniversary celebrations only went ahead after police made an about-turn and overturned an earlier ban.
The police had banned PDP’s birthday celebration days before the event, citing alleged terrorism fears.
“It is our anniversary and we urge everyone associated with the MDC-T to come in their numbers, and also, it is time for our silent supporters to come and celebrate with us as we chart a path to better the lives of all Zimbabweans,” Banda said.
The MDC-T celebrates 17 years after undergoing several splits since the party’s formation in 1999, the major one taking place in 2005 when Welshman Ncube and others severed ties with the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party over differences over participation in the senatorial elections.
Banda also said officials from MDC-T coalition partners under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) such as ZimPF, MDC, PDP and Zapu, among others, would grace the event.
Opposition parties under Nera are jointly pushing for electoral reforms, and analysts have said this is a necessary step towards forming a coalition pact towards and during the next elections to unseat Zanu PF. newsday