MDC Petition -16-02-07

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) main faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday afternoon filed an urgent application in the High Court seeking for the police to be barred from banning the party from holding its Star Rally on Sunday.
The party’s secreta

ry general, Tendai Biti filed the affidavit following repeated threats from police ordering the postponement of the Sunday rally at which Tsvangirai plans to launch his party’s 2008 presidential election campaign in defiance of President Robert Mugabe’s plans to defer the elections to 2010.
Police, who earlier in the week ordered the MDC to cancel the rally on the flimsy claim that it wouldn’t be having enough manpower to provide security, wrote again on Friday to say the opposition party had shown a desire to cause chaos in the country hence were barred from holding the rally.
However, the MDC responded by filing the urgent application in the High Court citing the police and minister of home affairs as the respondents.
The MDC argues in the affidavit that police have no legal authority even under the obnoxious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to want to give permission to the party to hold its rally. POSA only provides for a notification to be made to police about such events.
“The applicant’s national rally on 18 February 2007 is critical because it launches the applicant’s political programme for 2007, running to the presidential election that must be held by 11 March 2008,” reads the affidavit. “It launches the applicant’s 2008 presidential elections campaign and publicise the applicant’s roadmap to a new Zimbabwe premised on a new constitution authored by an all stakeholders’ conference.”
Speaking to The Zimbabwean, MDC spokesman, Nelson Chamisa said they were going ahead with their preparations for Sunday’s rally, adding the outcome from their court application wouldn’t even stop them.

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