The state media has claimed that its journalists were yesterday barred from covering the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally in the ancient city of Masvingo amid reports of violence by drunk party youths.

Initially, the police had refused to sanction the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition party to hold the rally at at Rujeko Open Grounds, citing fears of violence, before the High Court overturned that decision.

The Herald reported that there were incidents of violence involving CCC party youths who appeared to be high on drugs and alcohol.

Police boss, Simangaliso Dube, had denied the request to host a rally on the basis that Zanu PF was hosting two similar rallies in the district.

However, High Court judge, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe, issued an interim order granting permission to the party to go ahead with their rally.

In the order, Justice Zisengwe directed the police not to interfere with the rally proceedings.

“Respondents and all those acting through them be and are hereby interdicted from interfering with or cancelling applicants by-election campaign launch at Rujeko A open Grounds on the 20th of March 2022 between 1000hrs and 1600hrs,” reads the interim relief order.

CCC Masvingo district chairperson, Martin Mureri could not be reached to comment on the violent skirmishes.

Witnesses said the violent youths disrupted the event before it proceeded. state media.