Reports that the government has banned all forms of demonstrations in Harare for the next two weeks, ostensibly because of inadequacies in the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) in as far as dealing with demonstrations, is a clear sign that Zimbabwe is sliding into a despotic state.
The right to demonstrate remains one of the most fundamental rights the world over and depriving people of this right, no matter under what circumstances, is a serious threat to freedom of expression and an attack on civil liberties. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) views this move by the government as paranoid as the government faces angry citizens who are fighting for a better Zimbabwe.
We call upon every citizen to resist the move as allowing it would take us back to the Ian Smith era. The reasons for the ban are not only flimsy but also hard to understand.
Only recently, the police refused to respect a High Court order that granted political parties under the banner of National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) the right to demonstrate.
The ZCTU strongly deplores the government’s move and unreservedly calls for the reversal of the decision.
2 September 2016
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