Police clear anti-prepaid meter demo
GWANDA police have given Gwanda Residents Association (GRA) the green light to stage a demonstration against Zinwa today on condition that there would be no toyi-toying.
Zinwa installed prepaid bulk water meters for the town to force Gwanda municipality to pay $9,5 million owed to the authority, a development that did not go down well with residents.
The water authority also gave the municipality up to October 21 to pay the debt or risk paying for water upfront.
Two weeks ago, GRA secretary general, Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo applied to the police to demonstrate against the water authority.
Gwanda district police commander Chief Superintendent Enock Sibanda on Wednesday wrote a letter to Mr Fuzwayo sanctioning the demonstration.
He set out conditions that must be followed so that there would be no public disorder.
“This office acknowledges notification subject to the following conditions, that the meeting be held between stipulated times, that no thoroughfare or public place should be blocked or obstructed in any manner, that the smooth flow of traffic shall not be disrupted, that there shall be no interference with police officers on duty and every lawful instructions by police officers on duty will be adhered to,” wrote Chief Superintendent Sibanda.
“No person or participants shall carry or possess any object adapted to be used for inflicting injuries on the other persons, that no derogatory or inflammatory messages will be made at the meeting. Toyi-toyi during and after the meeting will not be allowed .”
He also urged the residents association to ensure that demonstrators do not damage vehicles, buildings or assault members of the public.
He said failure to adhere to the conditions will result in the demonstration being cancelled.
GRA spokesperson, Mr Aifheli Mudau said they were grateful for the police cooperation.
He said they will adhere to the conditions set by the police.
“This problem is for everyone, including the police as residents of this town. We assure them that we will stage a peaceful demonstration to send a message to authorities about our grievances against Zinwa. We are very much excited about the police cooperation and we are not going to disappoint,” said Mr Mudau.