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NCA catches police napping
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
September 27, 2004

NCA protesters with banner

More than 100 NCA members today took to the streets and peacefully demonstrated against the gazetted Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill - which seeks to restrict operations of NGOs in Zimbabwe- for the third time this month.

Waving placards and wielding a banner, the demonstrators marched from corner Angwa Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue and then went to Parliament, where they distributed NCA pamphlets. Members of Parliament who were coming from a workshop in Nyanga on the Bill were caught unawares.

Police which normally brutally thwarts demonstrations staged by the NCA, only arrived at the Parliament Building about 30 minutes later when the demonstrators had dispersed on their own.

NCA protester demands a new constitutionThe NGO Bill - which seeks to forbid foreign funding of NGOs, among other things - will be tabled in Parliament when it resumes sitting next week on Tuesday.

The demonstration was staged without notifying police as required by the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA). POSA stipulates that police must be notified at least four days before the day of the demonstration.

"We did not notify the police because in the past when we notified it, it interpreted the notification as an application," said Jessie Majome, the NCA spokesperson. "Demonstrations will remain as part of our programmes until our goal as been achieved."

The NCA staged two peaceful demonstrations on the 1st and 2nd of September started at the South African Embassy where it presented a petition to the South African Embassy It called Pretoria to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis.

The demonstrations, turned nasty as police brutally assaulted NCA members and arrested 39 people. It subsequently arrested Lovemore Madhuku, the NCA chairperson for organising the demonstration.

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