Police gazetted a ban on protests, stretching from yesterday to October 15 in compliance with High Court Judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba’s ruling that they must first notify all stakeholders if they intend to ban demonstrations and processions in Harare.
Officer Commanding Harare Central District Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama, who is the regulating authority in the district, announced the ban in an extraordinary Government gazette yesterday where he also issued a notice of the ban effective from yesterday.
Chief Supt Saunyama cited the inadequacies in Section (26) of the Public Order and Security Act (Chapter 11:17) to prevent disorder being caused by such processions.
Chief Supt Saunyama yesterday said the proposed prohibition order was provided for by the law.
“The regulating authority, believing on reasonable grounds that the powers conferred by Section 26 of the Public Order and Security Act (Chapter 11: 17) will not be sufficient to prevent public disorder being occasioned by the holding of processions or public demonstrations or any class thereof in the Harare Central Police District, hereby issues this order prohibiting, for a period of one month from Friday, the 16th September, 2016, to Saturday, the 15th October, 2016, the holding of all processions or public demonstrations or any class thereof in the Harare Central Police District,” reads the notice.
This comes after police two weeks ago banned demonstrations up to September 16 in Harare, again 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 weapons likely to be used to instigate violence.
However, Justice Chigumba 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 by Justice Priscilla Chigumba to allow the State to rectify the invalidity of the defective instrument used to ban the protests. herald