Court clears bond notes mass protest

HARARE - The High Court yesterday ruled that today’s demonstration against bond notes can go ahead despite attempts by panicking authorities to ban it.

Justice Lavender Makoni okayed the demonstration after police refused to clear it, forcing one of the organisers, Transform Zimbabwe (TZ), to file an urgent court application challenging the ban.

TZ, through its lawyers Sharon Hofisi and Kennedy Masiye of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued in the chamber application that it was the right of citizens to demonstrate.

The police later agreed to the demand, leading to the order being handed down by consent.

In an affidavit, TZ’s national secretary Assan Mtembo said he gave notice to the police on July 19, on the party’s intended mission to hold a peaceful march which would culminate in the delivering of a petition against the introduction of bond notes to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.

“The applicant (TZ) wants to hold the peaceful march as a way of exercising … freedom to petition, as enshrined in Sections 59 of the Constitution.

“The applicant simply gave the 3rd respondent (officer commanding Harare Central District) notice because the police are an important institution in our country, which institution is responsible for ensuring that there is internal security in our country,” Mtembo said.

He said the officer commanding Harare Central District was fully aware that he was not permitted in terms of Section 208 of the Constitution to prejudice the lawful interests of a political party without availing cogent reasons. Mtembo further told the court that he had made follow ups on July 29, but the police had indicated that there was still no response at that point to his notification.

On Monday, the police later gave him a letter in which they argued that the march had the effect of interrupting the smooth flow of people and motor vehicles.

TZ are among many groups that have planned today’s demonstrations against the introduction of the bond notes.

Pressure group Tajamuka/Sesijikile, will also be holding its own protests in the capital as it resists plans to bring the bond notes which it says are not real money.

Tajamuka/Sesijikile, together with #ThisFlag leader, clergyman Evan Mawarire, have over the past few weeks been leading campaigns aimed at forcing President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to stem Zimbabwe’s deepening rot — mounting a massive general strike last month which shut down the country as thousands of workers heeded their stay-away call.

The popular cleric was later arrested and arraigned before the courts, before being set free. However, authorities say they still want to interview him, with the intention of slapping him with fresh charges.

Comments (2)

a march in support of bond notes is long overdue comrades

truth - 4 August 2016

@truth which comrades? the ones being thrown in jail or the mafikizolos like you twat? yeah you can bus in your idiots from Mash Central the dullest province in the land

Sagitarr - 4 August 2016

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