Po­lice pro­pose demo ban in Harare

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Felex Share Harare Bureau

PO­LICE yes­ter­day is­sued a no­tice of a pro­posed tem­po­rary pro­hi­bi­tion or­der of the hold­ing of pub­lic demon­stra­tions and pro­ces­sions in the Harare Cen­tral Busi­ness District be­gin­ning Fri­day to Oc­to­ber 15.

The pro­posed pro­hi­bi­tion or­der was is­sued by the reg­u­lat­ing au­thor­ity of the area, the Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Harare Cen­tral District, Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent New­bert Saun­yama.

This comes af­ter po­lice two weeks ago banned demon­stra­tions up to Septem­ber 16 in Harare, cit­ing in­ad­e­qua­cies in Sec­tion (26) of the Pub­lic Or­der and Se­cu­rity Act (Chap­ter 11:17) to pre­vent dis­or­der be­ing caused by such pro­ces­sions.

To ef­fect the ban, po­lice is­sued Statu­tory In­stru­ment 101A, which tem­po­rar­ily pro­hib­ited demon­stra­tions in the Cen­tral Busi­ness District of Harare.

They also banned the car­ry­ing of cat­a­pults and axes among other tra­di­tional weapons likely to be used to in­sti­gate vi­o­lence.

The High Court, how­ever, sus­pended the ban fol­low­ing a le­gal chal­lenge to the in­stru­ment mounted by Demo­cratic Restora­tion As­sem­bly (Dare), Na­tional Elec­toral Re­form Agenda (Nera), Ven­dors As­so­ci­a­tion and Com­bined Harare Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (Chra).

The or­der of in­va­lid­ity was, how­ever, sus­pended for seven work­ing days to al­low the State to rec­tify the in­va­lid­ity of the de­fec­tive in­stru­ment used to ban the protests.

The move by the po­lice was ne­ces­si­tated by vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions by shad­owy group­ings linked to the MDC-T and Zim­babwe Peo­ple First that re­sulted in the de­struc­tion of prop­erty in the Cen­tral Busi­ness District.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties meet­ing un­der the ban­ner of Na­tional Elec­toral Re­form Agenda (Nera) also fol­lowed with an­other demon­stra­tion where ac­tivists wan­tonly de­stroyed prop­erty while oth­ers were en­gaged in a loot­ing spree. In­no­cent peo­ple and po­lice of­fi­cers on duty were not spared. Chief Supt Saun­yama yes­ter­day said the pro­posed pro­hi­bi­tion or­der was pro­vided for by the law.

“I Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent New­bert Saun­yama, be­ing the Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing po­lice Harare Cen­tral District and there­fore the reg­u­lat­ing au­thor­ity of the area hereby is­sue a no­tice of a pro­posed tem­po­rary pro­hi­bi­tion or­der of the hold­ing of pub­lic demon­stra­tions and pro­ces­sions or any class thereof in terms of Sec­tions27 (2) (a) Pub­lic Or­der and Se­cu­rity Act (Chap­ter11:17), in the Harare Cen­tral polic­ing district, that is the area bounded by Cum­ber­land, En­ter­prise Road, Churchill. Swan Drive, Cork Road San­dring­ham Drive, Drum­mond Chap­lin, Marimba Stream, Coven­try Road, Rot­ten Row, Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe up to Muku­visi River and back to Cum­ber­land for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing one month that is from 16th of Septem­ber 2016 to 15th Oc­to­ber 2016. All stake­hold­ers are ac­cord­ingly ad­vised,” he said.

Op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties and shad­owy group­ings, with fi­nan­cial back­ing from West­ern coun­tries, have in the past month been stag­ing vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions in a bid to desta­bilise the Con­sti­tu­tional Or­der.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe last Fri­day warned the vi­o­lent pro­tes­tors that they were “play­ing a dan­ger­ous game” and Gov­ern­ment would de­scend heav­ily on any­one caus­ing may­hem.

Ad­dress­ing a Zanu-PF Cen­tral Com­mit­tee meet­ing, the Pres­i­dent said op­po­si­tion el­e­ments, led by the MDC-T, had adopted a pol­icy of vi­o­lence in a bid to cre­ate a false elec­toral cri­sis and avoid elec­tions in 2018.

As such, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said, Gov­ern­ment’s pa­tience had run out and no one should cry foul when the law de­scended heav­ily on those fo­ment­ing chaos.

“The demon­stra­tions we have wit­nessed in the last few weeks, we not by ac­ci­dent of his­tory, but were pur­pose­fully chore­ographed and launched in the mis­taken be­lief that time was ripe for a pop­u­lar up­ris­ing against Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

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