via Magistrate lifts police ban on NYDT meeting – Nehanda Radio Feb 28, 2014
BULAWAYO magistrate, Evelyn Mashavakure late Thursday lifted a police ban on a public youth meeting at Lupane Business Centre in Matabeleland North province organised by the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT).
Lupane police had banned the meeting scheduled for today claiming they don’t have enough manpower “as most officers were busy at areas affected by floods in the province”.
NYDT through their lawyer Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyer for Human Rights (ZLHR) then approached the Bulawayo Magistrates court saying “the ban was illegal.
In the court application NYDT cited the Regulating Authority, the Zimbabwe Republic Police Lupane District as 1st Respondent, Commissioner General Zimbabwe Republic Police Augustine Chihuri as 2nd Respondent and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi as 3rd Respondent.
“The notice itself was just on courteous grounds rather than seek authorisation and 1st Respondent seems to be awarding himself powers that he does not have. The notification was simply to have a mutual relationship with a respondent which in this case is not forthcoming,” said NYDT through Jamela in the court application.
Jamela added: “The conduct of the 1st Respondent’s office as the responsible authority is unlawful, and in contravention the Public Order and Security Act, Chapter 11.17 that the respondents purport to administrating and there are no cogent grounds for prohibiting the planned public meeting. And is clear violation of applicant’s freedom of assembly, association as well as expression which freedoms are constitutional protected”.
However Magistrate Mashavakure gave a green light to NYDT public meeting which will be held at Madojwa Primary School in Lupane today. Last year Lupane police banned an HIV/Aids training workshop by the same organisation NYDT without giving clear reasons.
In March 2011 police in the same district blocked another NYDT public meeting and arrested the organisation’s senior programmes officer.
According to ZLHR, Matabeleland North is now the most hostile province in the country as police have so far arrested or harassed more than 40 politicians and human rights activists since January 2011.