Civic groups are demanding respect for the Constitution and alignment of the country’s laws to the charter.
Linda Masarira, of Tajamuka/Sesijikile, said: “There is no going back; we are shutting down Bulawayo despite the police ban on our demonstration.”
Masarira declared that the protesters were prepared to face the barrel of the gun, as they were now used to the brutality that comes with the Zanu-PF government in reaction to any dissenting voices in the country.
“We obviously are expecting their (police) heavy-handedness because this is what they have taught us that they are an extension of Zanu-PF,” she said.
“We are shutting down Bulawayo. We are going ahead with the protest. The notification was done well in time, but as usual they play on technicalities, which are not constitutional.
“We have been in consultations with our lawyers and they gave us advice, but basically all we are saying it is in the Constitution that we only notify the police, not to ask for permission, to demonstrate.
“We have fought for months for laws to be aligned to the Constitution, but it seems the Zanu-PF government is wilfully ignoring the alignment of laws to our Constitution. We are saying enough is enough, we are tired of living in a lawless country, we want justice to prevail in our motherland.”
Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi professed ignorance of the planned demonstrations.
“I am not aware of that demonstration. I cannot comment on something I am not aware of,” he said.
The civic society organisations that are taking part in the demonstrations also include #ThisFlower, National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo Youths Arise, Youth Advocacy for Reform Democracy, Active Youths Zimbabwe, Progress Co-ordinating Trust, Zimbabwe National Students’ Union, Zimbabwe Activists’ Alliance and Zimbabwe Liberation Peace Forum.
Police recently banned demonstrations in Harare’s CBD following a wave of anti-government protests by social movements and the National Electoral Reform Agenda, which were brutally crushed by the law enforcers despite their sanctioning by the courts.
Source – newsday