Daniel Nemukuyu Investigations and Special Reports Editor
MDC-Alliance’s High Court bid to quash a police order prohibiting their planned demonstrations, hit a brick wall after a judge threw out the urgent chamber application.
Justice Joseph Musakwa dismissed the application saying the political party had jumped the gun.
MDC-A, according to the judge, could have approached the magistrates’ court first before rushing to the High Court.
To that end, MDC-A lawyer and vice president Mr Tendai Biti said the party had called off the march.
“We differ respectfully with the ruling of the High Court. We will not appeal to the magistrates’ court because we do not accept the correctness, with greatest respect, of the ruling of the High Court today.
“We will now proceed with our planned marches in Bulawayo on Monday the 19th, in Masvingo, Gweru and Mutare,” said Mr Biti.
MDC-A spokesperson Mr Daniel Molokele said the planned march had been turned into a stay away.
“In simple terms, today’s march will no longer go ahead. They have banned our march.
“For today, here in Harare, it is now a State-funded stay away,” he said.
MDC-A notified the police of their planned demonstration on August 5 this year but the police yesterday issued an order prohibiting the event for security reasons.
The opposition party on Thursday night filed an urgent application for review of the order, which was thrown out today.
The application was premised on the basis of alleged procedural irregularity with the MDC-A lawyers arguing that the police had not complied with Section 26 of the Public Order and Security Act (ACT).
The section, according to MDC, stipulates that the police’s response must be filed within seven days.
MDC-A argued that the prohibition order was filed outside the seven days, hence they wanted it set aside.
Police on Thursday issued the prohibition order saying anyone taking part in such action will face the full wrath of the law.
More to follow…