Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) has filed another court application after a magistrate tossed out their first case in which they are challenging a blanket refusal by the police to allow its members and others to stage peaceful protests in the country over low workers’ pay and human rights violations.
CZC’s Peter Mutasa told VOA Zimbabwe that their initial application was rejected by a local magistrate who said “we had not followed some provisions of the country’s security law.”
Police had indicated in court that CZC did not follow Section 7 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act, which replaced the Public Order and Security Act.
CZC was supposed to hold the peaceful marches in cities and towns on Friday.
Teachers and other civil servants have given the government a notice that they will stage protests over low pay and poor working conditions.
Zimbabwean workers say they are now living from hand to mouth due to the devaluation of the local dollar against major currencies, especially the United States dollar.
They are demanding that lowly paid workers should get at least US$840 each per month.
The Zimbabwean government says it does not have the capacity to pay workers in foreign currency.
Section 7 of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act has been used by the police in the past few years to thwart peaceful protests in Zimbabwe.
Section 7 stipulates that protests organizers should follow some steps sanctioned by the police.
The convener shall give the regulating police officers “his/her name, address and telephone or cellphone and electronic mail numbers or his/her deputy; the name of the organisation on whose behalf the gathering is convened or, if it is not so convened, a statement that it is convened by the convener; the purpose of the gathering; the time, duration and date of the gathering; the place where the gathering is to be held; the anticipated number of participants; the proposed number and, where possible, the names of the marshals who will be appointed by the convener, and how the marshals will be distinguished from the other participants in the gathering.
“In the case of a procession or public demonstration, the exact and complete route of the procession or public demonstration; and the time when and the place at which participants in the procession or public demonstration are to assemble, and the time when and the place from which the procession or public demonstration is to commence; and the time when and the place where the procession or public demonstration is to end and the participants are to disperse; and the manner in which the participants will be transported to the place of assembly and from the point of dispersal; and the number and types of vehicles, if any, which are to form part of the procession; and if a petition or any other document is to be handed over to any person, the place where and the person to whom it is to be handed over.”