Mugabe, Zanu PF won't give up power

HARARE - Elsewhere in this edition, we carry a story in which opposition political parties have vowed not to be cowed by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s threats against protests.

Police on Monday issued notice of a second ban on public demonstrations and processions, arguing it was provided for in the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) — an Act the High Court recently ruled to be unconstitutional. Curiously, the temporary ban will be effective from tomorrow until October 15. It is also interesting that the initial police ban of two weeks — made through SI 101A, which High Court judge Priscillah Chigumba dismissed — was supposed to last until Friday.

Chigumba’s judgment only came days after Mugabe issued threats against the Bench for being “reckless” in allowing protesters to hold demonstrations, a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Zanu PF youths, who have enjoyed protection before, have also threatened to deal with protesters.

Mugabe’s rant against the judiciary then exposed a well-choreographed act meant to instil fear in the judiciary and others deemed to be a threat to Mugabe and Zanu PF’s continued disastrous reign.

This confirms that Mugabe and his henchmen are determined to cling on to power, despite their failure to run the affairs of State in the past 36 years.

He is not prepared to implement electoral reforms — for long touted as the major impediment to free and fair elections in the country — before the eagerly-anticipated 2018 polls.

Zimbabwe’s previous elections have produced contested results with opposition parties raising concern over an uneven playing field as well as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s autonomy, claiming the national polls’ body is staffed by partisan people.

However, it is the latest police ban that could provide fertile grounds for clashes with protesters who are keen to be heard.

Mugabe last week issued ominous threats against opposition parties, saying his government would not hesitate to throw their leaders into jail.

Police have also continued with brutal attacks on protesters staging lawful demonstrations as what happened on August 26 when they savaged peaceful demonstrators who had been granted an order by the courts to protest.

As head of the Executive arm of government, Mugabe is supposed to not only observe and respect but also uphold the country’s Constitution.

Mugabe’s attacks on the judiciary are not anything new because the judiciary took a huge battering in the early 2000s when Mugabe purged the Bench — including hounding out former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay — for ruling against his chaotic land reform programme.

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