Zimbabwe High Court lifts ban on Tsvangirai return rally

Other News Materials 16 May 2008 21:42 (UTC +04:00)

A Zimbabwe High Court judge on Friday ordered police not to block a rally scheduled for Sunday by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to welcome back party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, dpa reported.

Job Sibanda, lawyer for the MDC told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that Bulawayo High Court Justice Maphios Cheda had given the go-ahead for the rally in Zimbabwe's second city.

"The judge ordered the police not to interfere with the rally," said Sibanda.

The MDC had gone to court to after police cancelled the rally saying the political environment was "volatile."

Commenting on the outcome MDC parliamentarian in Bulawayo Eddie Cross said the rally had been called to welcome home Tsvangirai, who has spent the last month outside Zimbabwe amid fears for his safety in the wake of March 29 elections.

It was also "a celebration of the March victory."

The MDC won the elections to the lower house of parliament, taking 99 seats to 97 for President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Tsvangirai also got more votes than Mugabe in the concomitant presidential vote, but not enough, according to the official count for an outright win.

The state-controlled Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced a run-off vote between Mugabe and Tsvangirai on June 27.