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Cops clamp down on public mtgs
Pemenus Tuso, The Zimbabwean
April 24, 2013

Organizations intending to hold public meetings are now required to furnish the police with a variety of documents, including proof of registration and a copy of their constitution.

A Media Institute of Southern Africa advocacy member based here said he was surprised when the police demanded the new documents last week. According to the amended version of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), any person who wants to hold a public meeting or march must notify the regulating authority (the police) four days in advance and provide his/her personal details, location of the venue and the purpose of the meeting on the application form.

“I went to the Police Internal Security Investigation section last week to apply for the belated provincial World Press Freedom Commemorations that we intend to hold on May 4. One of the officers asked me to produce proof of registration of the organization, a copy of the constitution and full names and contact details of our provincial and national governing council. I am surprised because these documents have never been required before,” said the member, who declined to be named for fear of victimization. Police recently launched a crackdown on civil society organizations which analysts say is meant to frustrate their activities ahead of the elections.

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