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State effects a de facto ban on civilian politics

by Luke Tamborinyoka
20 Aug 2019 at 13:16hrs | Views
In light of the continued proscription of the people's sacred right to freedom of assembly and expression, Zimbabweans are disheartened that all democratic space in the country has virtually been closed.

Rights have been taken away and democratic space has shrunk. As a people, in light of the national grievances affecting the nation, we have followed the law to the letter and spirit so as to allow ourselves to demonstrate peacefully.

Alas, there has been no appetite on the other side to allow citizens the full enjoyment of their democratic rights. In fact, there has been a de facto ban on the MDC and on civilian politics in the country. State-sponsored violence against innocent citizens has become the regime's default setting. The people are being subjected to State-sponsored terrorism while the State continues to foment acrimony between citizens and the law enforcement agents as characterized by the cat-and-mouse games between the citizens and those in authority in the various cities and towns.The sight in Gweru today of soldiers doing public drills in the town where a peaceful and constitutional march was supposed to take place is a case in point.

In the past few days, there has not just been a ban on civilian politics, but a de facto state of emergency. It is tragic that political gatherings and free expression, which have virtually been banned in Zimbabwe, are the very oxygen of politics. The proscription of the people's fundamental rights is therefore a crude form of political asphyxiation.

Zimbabweans re suffering and have braved myriad national grievances that range from power outages, unemployment, fuel shortages, spiraling cost of living and a steep hike in basic education and health costs, among other issues. It is the view of ordinary Zimbabweans that the final and ultimate solution to the multi-layered crisis afflicting the country is a legitimate people's government that can begin to address the concerns of the people.

We have seen in the past few days that POSA remains a problem while its successor, the Maintenance of Public Order Act, has dismally failed to enhance the people's democratic rights. If anything, MOPA has been plucked from apartheid statutes and marks a major regression on the democratic agenda.

Put simply, MOPA is just but another POSA in a scarf!

It must be made clear that the prohibition orders that are being used to stifle and throttle democratic space are in themselves unconstitutional as they brazenly take away sacred constitutional rights and freedoms. As a people, we are sticklers to Constitutionalism and the rule of law.

Sadly, the people have gone to court but have received no remedy. Put simply, the people have found the remedies not available at the courts.

Ultimately, it must be understood that the people reserve their right to organize and express themselves. We have the people and we have the right.

MDC: Change that delivers.

Luke Tamborinyoka
Deputy National Spokesperson
Movement for Democratic Change

Source - Luke Tamborinyoka