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BREAKING: Bulawayo magistrate quashes MDC Alliance demo appeal

by Staff reporter
19 Aug 2019 at 16:20hrs | Views
MDC-Alliance's Court bid to quash a police order prohibiting their planned demonstrations, hit a brick wall after it was dismissed by the Bulawayo Magistrate

On Sunday, Officer Commanding Bulawayo central district, Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Phiri issued an order banning the planned MDC march.

In delivering his ruling, magistrate Tashaya said the right to demonstration is not absolute.

He said there are certain limitations to it.

"The court assessed whether the MDC defense submissions were fair, reasonable and justifiable. Taking into consideration evidence from the near past, violence has erupted from demonstrations resulting in the lives of the public being put in danger," said Tashaya.

He said although the applicant's lawyers had argued that the opposition party must not be denied the right to demonstrate because of the flaws of other organisations, it is impossible to ignore that the reasons for protesting are similar.

"The January protests were orchestrated by ZCTU challenging the harsh economic challenges, which are the same challenges being cited by MDC," said Tashaya.

"People took advantage of demonstrations which had been said would be peaceful and looted shops.

"The respondents in their notice pointed out that the business sector is worried their businesses would be at risk should the demonstration go on."

The magistrate said MDC stated in their submissions that they have secured 400 marshals for security, an acknowledgement there is a possibility violence may erupt.

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