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ban on rallies and demonstrations must be ignored
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
in strongest terms the statement made by the police when they publicly
announced that political meetings and demonstrations are banned
for 3 months. Officer Commanding Mbare district, Chief Superintendent
Tsitsi Sadzamari and Chief Superintendent Thomsen Jangara, Officer
Commanding Harare South, came out in two separate press statements
banning rallies and demonstrations on Wednesday February 22, 2007.The
NCA position in regard to the partisan nature of the police is thus
The police unashamedly blocked an MDC rally at Zimbabwe grounds
and they had initially denied them permission to hold their rally.
The reason given by police for the refusal is that they did not
have enough manpower to provide security. Surprisingly, there was
enough security to block MDC supporters from attending the rally.
All this happened despite the fact that the MDC was granted a court
order by the high court to continue with their rally. If the police
can defy court orders then who will be the custodians of our laws
in the country? As NCA we are surprised by such blatant double standards
by the police force. After successfully disturbing the MDC rally
the police are now saying that they have banned political gatherings
As NCA we know that we have never been allowed by the police to
demonstrate and we have always done our demonstrations in defiance.
We have always demonstrated for a people-driven constitution that
does not allow police to restrict people’s right to freedom of expression.
Police intention to refuse people to demonstrate is reminiscent
of the Smith era where political gatherings and demonstrations were
The difference between Smith’s era and Mugabe is that the present
police have perfected the art of oppression. We want to make it
clear to the police that as NCA we will not listen to partisan orders
that are meant to protect a failed regime that is desperately clinging
to power. The police should come out clear and declare their allegiance
to Zanu-PF as it is wrong to put on two hats at the same time, attempting
to confuse the whole nation. Police are still beating up innocent
and suffering people in high density suburbs and this is all done
under the disguise of maintaining order and peace.
As NCA we deplore such unwarranted provocation of peace and stability
by the same people who are supposed to safeguard it. We note with
great sadness that the police are amongst the least paid civil servants
yet they spend their energy on victimizing fellow citizens who are
demanding a humane life. The police must know that they are responsible
for the chaos that is prevailing in Harare following their heavy
handedness in dealing with a clearly sanctioned event. It must also
be known that if the people decide to defend themselves from the
violent police force the blame should be surely rest in the hands
of the state.
As NCA we also want to inform the public that its not a crime to
defend oneself from an unlawful attack and if need be they should
protect themselves from a partisan violent police force that aim
at perpetuating dictatorship and increasing the suffering of the
As NCA we will continue to demonstrate for a new democratic and
people driven constitution .We will not be threatened by the police
as we are aware that they are fighting a Zanu-pf agenda that does
not have anything to do with their duties.
We will continue to fight for a democratic constitution and a new
governance system with a non partisan police that respect the rule
of law and protect the citizen’s rights. For as long as the police
continue with their arrogant stance to ban demonstrations and political
gatherings they will not get respect from citizens. NCA will not
recognize the authority of a partisan police force and we urge all
citizens to ignore such dubious orders from misguided elements of
the brutal police force.
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