By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |
A High Court hearing in which opposition political parties and human rights defenders are seeking a reversal of a recent ban on demonstrations has been postponed to Wednesday.
Tendai Biti, who is representing the applicants, told the media that the matter was postponed after the State sought more time to prepare its case.
“The state lawyers are yet to file their opposing papers and have asked to be given more time to file their papers,” said Biti.
Government last week invoked Statutory Instrument 101A to ban demonstrations in central Harare.
This follows a recent wave of protests that turned violent when police tried to stop demonstrators demanding electoral reform and President Robert Mugabe’s exit following his government’s failure to solve the current economic problems.
Mugabe last Saturday issued a veiled threat to the judiciary which has in recent weeks approved demonstrations after initial police opposition.
The applicants are seeking an order to suspend the statutory instrument and to interdict the police from unlawfully interfering with the rights of citizens to demonstrate or petition as provided under Section 59 of the constitution.
Biti, a constitutional lawyer and head of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is representing the applicants who also want the police to continue processing applications to demonstrate. Nehanda Radio