MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Tsvangirai did not turn up for the rally because he felt insulted by the conditions given to his party by the police.
“Tsvangirai did not come because he did not agree with the strict conditions given to him by police,” Mwonzora said. “MDC insists on unmitigated rights, freedom of association and assembly.”
According to the police clearance given to MDC-T, party supporters were not supposed to “toyi-toyi” before, during and after the meeting.
The note also prohibited hate speech or derogatory remarks against other political parties.
“No hate speech or derogatory remarks should be contemplated against other political rivals,” read the note. Mwonzora said: “It is very difficult to follow this condition.
The other condition instructed Tsvangirai to co-operate with state security agents and report all hooligans to them.
“The police are calling on the Prime Minister of a country to act as an informer, again he found this extremely offensive and disrespectful,” said Mwonzora.
However, other senior MDC-T officials said Tsvangirai failed to turn up because of the small number of people who came for the rally.
They blamed the poor turnout on intimidation by Zanu PF militia.
The Standard news crew saw three MDC-T youths bleeding, claiming that they had been assaulted by Zanu PF youths at their party office at Machipisa Shopping Centre.
One of them was “knifed” on the hand and was bleeding profusely and was rushed to a private clinic for treatment.
This happened dispite the heavy presence of police around the venue of the rally.
MDC-T youths who wanted to retaliate were held back by senior party officials.
Meanwhile, MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said the party was ready for elections on condition that the electoral playing field was level.