Demo Ban Ruling expected today

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The High Court Judge President Justice George Chiweshe is today expected to deliver judgment in the two urgent chamber applications filed by opposition parties and residents’ associations seeking to set aside a police ban on marches and demonstrations in Harare’s central business district.

The judge was supposed to deliver judgment yesterday, but his registrar advised the parties concerned that the matter would be dealt with today.

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The two matters were filed by the Zimbabwe Divine Destiny, Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment, National Electoral Reform Agenda, Combined Harare Residents’ Association and activist Sten Zvorwadza.

The parties presented their arguments through their lawyers Advocate Fadzai Mahere of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Tendai Biti and Dzimbabwe Chimbga.

In the application, the parties want the High Court to set aside Government Notice No 239 A of 2016 by Zimbabwe Republic Police Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama on the basis that it restricts the right to demonstrate as guaranteed in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

ZLHR lawyers further argued the ban was unconstitutional as it was not proportional and did not comply with the principles of natural justice.

On September 7 this year, Justice Priscilla Chigumba declared as unconstitutional Statutory Instrument 101A of 2016 gazetted on September 1, 2016 banning protests in Harare for a period of two weeks.

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