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Truth, justice, reconciliation and national healing - Index of articles
quashes police ban on national healing play after ZLHR's intervention
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 14, 2011
Tancy Dube, on Wednesday 14 September 2011 quashed a police ban
on a national healing theatre play aimed at exhorting peace and
reconciliation after years of conflict in Zimbabwe.
came after Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
instituted urgent proceedings in the form of an ex-parte application
challenging the police ban of the play entitled "1983, the
years before and after, a play on the past disturbances seeking
to establish true National Healing, true peace and true reconciliation,"
scheduled for Friday 16 September 2011 at Bulawayo Theatre.
The police had
on 12 September 2011, four days before the scheduled drama performance
banned the public performance of the national healing play by the
Gwanda-based Jahunda Community Theatre group without giving any
reasons for their actions.
But Jamela on
14 September 2011 filed an ex-parte application seeking to declare
as unlawful the prohibition of the drama performance and to set
aside the police order prohibiting the public show of the play which
was granted by Magistrate Dube.
barred the police from disturbing or interfering in any way with
the drama performance to be held on Friday 16 September at Bulawayo
sanctioned Jahunda Community Theatre to proceed with the drama performance
as scheduled so as to promote the organisation's right to
freedom of association and assembly as set out in Section 21 of
and the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed in Section
20 of the Constitution.
In his application,
Jamela argued that the actions of the police in prohibiting the
play infringes on the right to freedom of assembly and association
enshrined in Section 21 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as well
as the freedom of expression enshrined in Section 20 of the Constitution
which cannot be arbitrarily or unreasonably taken way by any person.
In addition, the theatre group is exempted from notifying the police
about its activities as it is not a political grouping, thus the
notice which Jahunda Community Theatre served on the police was
just on courteous grounds rather than seeking authorisation.
The human rights
lawyer argued that the Bhekumusa Moyo-led Jahunda Community Theatre
had a democratic right to freely perform theatrical arts without
being hindered by anyone including the police since they were not
committing any offence.
Jamela said had not shown that the proposed drama performance would
result in the disruption of vehicular, pedestrian traffic or cause
injury to the participants, public members, damage to property or
any other public disorder or security threat.
This is the
second time this year that ZLHR has intervened in defence of artists'
expression in Matabeleland Provinces.
Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa also of ZLHR fought on behalf of Rooftop
Promotions and obtained an interdict from Magistrate Rose Dube
barring the police from prohibiting the country's leading
theatre production group from staging a theatre performance entitled
The police through
Chief Superintendent R. N Masina of Bulawayo Central Police Station
had banned the public performance of Rituals by Rooftop Promotions
on the basis that they could not sanction the performance of the
play because the government was already attending to issues
of national healing through the Organ for National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration.
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