Zimbabwe police ban Bulawayo demos


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Zimbabwe police barred the largest opposition party from staging a protest planned for tomorrow in the second-largest city of Bulawayo, citing security concerns.

Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Nyathi said prohibition orders against any protest marches were issued amid opposition by some business lobby groups.

“Various business groups had also appealed at the High Court not to allow the march to proceed as a number of those organizations lost their properties in January when similar marches were held,” Nyathi said.

Marches in Harare on Friday were blocked by the police, leading to the arrest of 91 activists.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse demonstrators who gathered in defiance of the ban.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights put the number of arrested at 128 people.

The Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, has scheduled a series of protest marches in Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare protesting against the economic decline.

MDC vice president Tendai Biti confirmed the police ban but said the party will appeal at the magistrate’s court.

According to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation the High Court upheld the order issued by police citing potential violence as the major reason why the law enforcement agents could not guarantee a peaceful demonstration.

The ZBC said prior to the High Court decision, a congregation of the Bulawayo community comprising business, the church and residents had filed an urgent chamber application citing previous violent incidents and looting sprees as the reason why they did not want the demonstration to be held.

Justice Thompson Mabhikwa’s order was granted by consent of both parties.

The applicant was represented by Pineas Madzvivire while Advocate Kucaca Phulu represented the MDC Alliance.-Bloomberg/ZBC

(83 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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