Police invoke POSA to block public meetings

policePolice in Harare on Monday invoked the nefarious Public Order and Security Act to block a consultative meeting between the countrys Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the people of Harare.

The MDC which is part of the Government of National Unity was shocked by the police move which is reminiscent of the pre-Inclusive era when Zanu PF used the same draconian piece of legislation to block opposition activities. The party President Morgan Tsvangirai was supposed to hold three meetings in Harare where he is discussing with the public the status quo in relationship to the deferred constitution making process in Harare and Chitungwiza, violations of the GPA and participation in the next elections that are likely to be held in 2011.

The MDC is appalled by the action used by the police in using the draconian POSA to bar peaceful public gatherings. The party is equally disturbed by the attempts by Zanu PF to abuse the police in achieving political ends, said the MDC in a statement. Officer commanding Harare South District Chief Superintended T.A Chagwedera barred the meetings citing provisions of the repressive POSA which stipulates that the police have to be notified before meetings are held.

Attempts by the MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese to have POSA amended have been strongly resisted by Zanu PF legislators. POSA which is President Robert Mugabe version of Ian Smith Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA) has been used to stifle freedoms of expression and association.

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