Nera parties approach courts over demo

HARARE - A grouping of political parties coalescing under the banner National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) today approaches the High Court to formally advise that their sanctioned demonstration last week failed to take off owing to police interference.

This comes after law enforcement agents brutally crashed a demonstration organised by the grouping to press for comprehensive electoral reforms ahead of the much-anticipated 2018 elections.

But Nera spokesperson Didymus Mutasa said in a statement yesterday the political parties had rescheduled the demonstration that they are tipping to be of colossal proportions to this Friday.

Mutasa added that the Nera will also be staging demonstrations countrywide on the same day.

“To this end, Nera will tomorrow formally advise the court that the sanctioned demonstration never took place as the police, in a brazen act of contempt of court, violently stopped citizens from marching on the sanctioned route,” Mutasa said.

The former State Security minister, now a member of the Joice Mujuru-led opposition Zimbabwe People First party said it will be up to the judiciary to determine the fate of Home Affairs minister and the ZRP over their contempt case.

The court order that Nera obtained after police refused to clear them for the demonstration specifically barred them from obstructing or interfering with the march.

He emphasised that political parties under Nera were organisations of peace-loving Zimbabweans, saying “we mean no harm to anyone”.

“We demand nothing more than being allowed our constitutional right to march and to hand over a petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) so that they begin to put in place mechanisms for a truly free, fair and credible electoral process ahead of the next election.

“We also further advise that apart from the protest march in Harare, Nera structures in all provinces, cities and towns will be informing the place of similar marches in their areas on the same day.

“Zimbabweans are under no illusion that we are where we are because of the crisis of legitimacy. On Friday, the whole nation wishes to speak with one voice by peacefully demanding that the next election be truly free, fair and credible,” the statement reads further.

Describing the behaviour of the police in crashing their demonstration as callous, the Nera parties argued that Zimbabweans have previously protested without incidents of violence.

“As Nera, we are heartened that the world is watching and that the United Nations has come out to say it is disturbed by the brutality of the Zimbabwe police on innocent citizens.

“The onus is on the State to exercise restraint and allow Zimbabweans to exercise their constitutional rights,” the parties said.

In the aftermath of last week’s crashed demonstration, police launched a crackdown during the night, firing teargas at people walking in town with unconfirmed reports that they went around beating people in bars in the city centre.

The genesis of the socio-economic and political crises the country is grappling with, the Nera parties say, was the disputed 2013 elections “that bred a government with no local and international confidence”.

They argued that disputed elections remained the pressing national concern hence their demand for Zec to listen to them “so that we cure this recurring disease of illegitimacy arising out of contentious elections that breed disputed outcomes”.

Comments (11)

sore losers of elections always claim elections are not free and fair when the outcome does not favour them

truth - 30 August 2016

RIGGERS OF ELECTIONS PROTECTING zec FROM RECEIVING PETITIONS. WHY FIGHT ZEC'S FIGHTS IF THEY ARE AN INDEPENDENT BODY?

Donato Matibili - 30 August 2016

@Truth, are you referring to the March 2008 elections that were not announced for doctoring purposes and the subsequent cutting of hands of villagers towards June 27 2008 because a sore loser had lost?

XG - 30 August 2016

If people like Mutasa and Mujuru now start calling for a free and fair elections then one wonders from which planet does an idiot like @Truth come from. It shows that all previous elections were never fair thats why the for government leaders are calling for it now because they know that if this issue is not dealt with then 2018 will just be yet another sham election.Vanozviziva zvaiitika zvose saka this time hapana chitsotsi.

chimuti - 30 August 2016

As a true loving peace member I see it as practically good to send a delegation to hand over the petition to responsible authorities so that you can minimize looting of goods of peace loving citizens. Capital destruction does not do any good at all. We are angry because of hunger but let us not loot goods of those who are already suffering because of the prevailing situation we are facing.

Gumandafa - 30 August 2016

@Gumandafa, you will recall how the Zanla and Zipra forces were bombing infrastructure to force independence of Zimbabwe, the Masasa fuel depot as just one example - it was necessary but people lost jobs, the same people the struggle was to liberate. You will also recall how the war veterans killed some white farmers to force land reform as 3000 fellows owned about 85% of all meaningfully productive land in Zimbabwe. Was it necessary to kill, why not just take the land and not kill? Where there is a struggle, there are casualties, some innocent - it is unfortunate. The tragedy is your thinking that the change that people are looking for can be done without collateral damage. Whether I am Zanu PF, Opposition or Neutral doesn't matter. These are the realities. Just a random question: why is it sanity has to prevail when it is the opposition demonstrating but when the opposition is being brutalized, you are all quiet - recall Tsvangirai and Madhuku 2008 picture?

XG - 30 August 2016

Give them what they want and lets them shoot themselves down once and for all. We all no its another nationwide endeavour to loot. Mr Judge as you also deliberate on this application consider the rights of others , property , free movement etc.

trevor - 30 August 2016

Give them what they want and lets them shoot themselves down once and for all. We all no its another nationwide endeavour to loot. Mr Judge as you also deliberate on this application consider the rights of others , property , free movement etc.

trevor - 30 August 2016

Gore rino munototi mumame chete vana truth naana tirevha.

Chipoto Vhaivhai - 30 August 2016

very true,gore rino mbavha idzo dzinototi dziende,taneta nenhamo iwo wachitibira

mbavha - 30 August 2016

NERA- that is the way to go....never retreat never surrender...we are facing a monster and the only language this monster understands is nation wide demonstration>

taps - 30 August 2016

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