I’m the brains be­hind POSA, Dabengwa re­veals

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

Of­fice for a sig­na­ture but the Pres­i­dent would not sign be­cause he had a num­ber of ob­jec­tions. He thought the Bill was too lib­eral but he didn’t even bother to find out or ask me why I de­cided to bring cer­tain is­sues on the Bill.

“All he did was to sit on it and made sure it lapsed be­cause af­ter three months with­out the Pres­i­dent as­sent­ing, a Bill au­to­mat­i­cally lapses and this was about the time we were get­ting to­wards the 2000 elec­tions,” he said.

Dr Dabengwa said changes to the Bill were later made by his pre­de­ces­sor, the late Cde John Landa Nkomo.

“The same name was used and dur­ing John Nkomo’s time and a num­ber of changes were made which com­pletely di­luted the Bill from what it was. There were some re­pres­sive sec­tions in LOMA, which we had re­moved, and one of them is the is­sue of hav­ing to get per­mis­sion from the po­lice for meet­ings and that Bill said all that you needed to do was to in­form the po­lice of the meet­ing in case you en­counter prob­lems and it also placed the onus on the con­ven­ers to first in­form po­lice of a demon­stra­tion. In the event that any prop­erty was dam­aged, the lead­ers would then be solely re­spon­si­ble for re­pair­ing the dam­ages thereof,” he said.

Dr Dabengwa claimed the cur­rent POSA sig­ni­fies lit­tle improvement on LOMA.

“The Bill that I in­tro­duced was a lib­eral POSA which you will find in al­most ev­ery demo­cratic coun­try and it is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the POSA that we have now. When they came up with the new POSA Bill, I was very an­gry,” he said.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties re­gard POSA as an Act that helped Mr Mu­gabe con­sol­i­date his power post2000 dur­ing demon­stra­tions and protests.

Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Min­is­ter Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi re­cently an­nounced that the Gov­ern­ment is set to amend POSA, the Po­lice Act as well as the Cit­i­zen­ship Act as part of an ini­tia­tive to align leg­is­la­tion with the Constitution.

There has pre­vi­ously been re­sis­tance to amend some laws but this re­luc­tance to com­ply with the Constitution is be­ing ad­dressed in the Se­cond Repub­lic. The Gov­ern­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has since pledged to en­trench civil lib­er­ties. Of­fi­cially open­ing the 9th Par­lia­ment of Zim­babwe, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa pro­nounced the leg­isla­tive agenda which is guided by the need to align laws to the new constitution, to fur­ther democra­tise the na­tion and en­sure that the coun­try achieves its 2030 de­vel­op­men­tal vi­sion. — @mash­nets

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