PROTESTS BAN Hearing Postponed: Did Mugabe Threats Weigh In?

PROTESTS BAN Hearing Postponed: Did Mugabe Threats Weigh In?
Published: 2016 September 05 14:22:40 (1986 Views)

HARARE High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, today postponed the hearing on protests ban in Harare to Wednesday 10am, in what might appear a herculean task for the judiciary if Mugabe's recent rant is anything to go by. 
Justice Chigumba today faced an acid test when she presided over an urgent chamber application filed by opposition parties and Harare residents last week challenging the legality of the police ban on all demonstrations in the central business district until September 16.
Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama, in his capacity as the Officer Commanding ZRP Harare Central District, issued the order purportedly under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and which was gazetted on 01 September 2016 as Statutory Instrument 101A of 2016 banning protests in central Harare for a period of two weeks from Friday 02 September 2016 to Friday 16 September 2016.
This compelled the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), the Democratic Restoration Assembly (DARE), Harare resident Stanrick Zvorwadza and the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) to file an urgent chamber application in the High Court, which will be heard at 10 AM on Monday 05 September 2016, seeking an order to suspend forthwith the operation of Statutory Instrument 101A of 2016 and to interdict the police from unlawfully interfering with the rights of citizens to exercise their right defined by Section 59 of the Constitution read together with Section 12 of (POSA) (Chapter 11:17).

NERA, DARE, Zvorwadza and CHRA, who are represented by human rights lawyer Tendai Biti of Tendai Biti Law, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, also want the High Court to order Saunyama to continue processing and deal with all notifications for public gatherings and processions or meetings in the manner lawfully proscribed in Section 12 of POSA (Chapter 11:17).
The human rights lawyer cited Chief Superintendent Saunyama, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and Attorney General Prince Machaya as respondents.
Biti said the ban on protests in Harare will affect NERA's demonstration scheduled for Friday 9 September 2016, which will not take place as it has been affected by the promulgation and imposition of SI 101A of 2016.
Biti added that the ZRP ban of demonstrations in Harare is a serious infringement of citizens' constitutional rights as defined in Section 59, Section 58 (1), Section 61, Section 62, and Section 67 (2) of the Constitution.



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