I’m the brains behind POSA, Dabengwa reveals
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