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POSA CSO's endorse amendment of POSA
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
February 22, 2010

Nine civil society organisations on Monday 22 February 2010 endorsed a Private Member's Bill that seeks to amend the harsh provisions of the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The nine civic society organisations namely the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Zimbabwe), The Women's Trust, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP), Veritas and the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) delivered their oral and written submissions at a public hearing convened at Christian Jubilee Centre in Milton Park.

The civil society organisations were unanimous in backing the amendments suggested by Mutare Central MP Hon. Innocent Gonese and criticised POSA for curtailing citizens' freedoms.

Although in her submissions ZLHR executive director Irene Petras welcomed the proposed amendments to POSA she reiterated that her organisation would be comfortable with totally repealing the draconian law and other restrictive legislation such as the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The ZCTU, whose leaders have been arrested on countless occasions for contravening POSA said some provisions of the law have been seriously abused to the extend of making Zimbabwe a police State.

Committee chairperson and Glen View South Member of Parliament Hon. Paul Madzore said his committee will seek to arrange another public hearing to gather citizens' contributions to the proposed Bill because of the poor turnout at the first meeting.

The committee will on Tuesday 23 February 2010 and Wednesday 24 February 2010 hold public hearings in Gokwe and Lupane before wrapping up the hearings in Gwanda and Dombotombo late this week.

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