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ARTUZ shifts Palestine solidarity march dates

BRIDGET MABANDA

HARARE – The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) will today, through its lawyers, write another letter to the ZRP notifying them of the new dates for the Palestinian solidarity march.

This comes after police yesterday stopped ARTUZ’s plans to deliver a petition to the United Nations office in Harare showing their solidarity with Palestinian workers in the wake of the current Israeli military onslaught on Gaza.

ARTUZ president, Obert Masaraure said they would notify the police on the new dates today.

“We were supposed to do our solidarity march today but we were stopped by the Police. We are submitting papers today through our lawyers, notifying police that on 8 November 2023 we will be marching using the same route,” said Masaraure.

He said the union is hoping that their lawyers will play a pivotal role in helping them to get the permission.

“Our solidarity march with Palestine is very sensitive and it is in our hearts. Like in Zimbabwe, people have been suffering since colonial days up to now. We do not want to see people suffering,” added Masaraure.

The teachers’ organisation had written a letter to the police on 17 October 2023 notifying them of their intention to hold a solidarity march in accordance with clauses 6 and 7 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act.

However, Officer commanding Harare district Chief Superintendent Raudzi Chuma said the teachers’ union cannot hold the march today.

In a letter, Chuma wrote: “You notified me that your solidarity march shall commence at Ashbrittle Shops up to the United Nations offices in Zimbabwe, which are located at Block 10, Arundel Office Park, Norfolk Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare, where you shall hand over your petition.

“However, your notification letter falls short of the requirements as outlined in the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [Chapter 11:23]. Therefore, your intended solidarity march and petition has not been sanctioned.”

ARTUZ intended to march today to the United Nations offices in Mt Pleasant, Harare, to deliver the petition.

The march was in solidarity with Palestine in the wake of bombings from Israel that continue to bombard Gaza after Palestinian militant Mohammed Deif earlier this month launched Operation Al Aqsa Flood to retaliate against Israeli raids at Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque in 2021.

Israel has since declared war on Palestine, likening the Hamas attack to America’s September 11, 2001 tragedy when suicide bombers hijacked civilian planes and rammed them into landmark buildings in the United States.

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