The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is set to launch an appeal against a prohibition order issued by police in Bulawayo barring the opposition party from staging a demonstration in the city on Monday.
Police banned the demonstration saying it would likely result in “public disorder”.
However, MDC Secretary for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Kucaca Phulu confirmed to CITE that the party would lodge an appeal at the Magistrate’s Court.
“We have a right to appeal and we are going to file at the Magistrates Court as early as possible. This will also depend on how fast we serve the interested parties such as the Officer Commanding Bulawayo and the Commissioner of Police. We are working on the appeal and want our case to be heard first thing in the morning,” he said.
Phulu noted it was necessary to go to court in order to overturn the ban rather than defy it since MDC believed in rule of law.
“We are committed to the rule of law and to comply with all the requirements set. We can’t ignore the ban. But the way the prohibition was served, it meant to deny us the right to appeal and the High Court issue (filed by four applicants Sunday citing the demo would cause chaos in Bulawayo) was a simple matter of mischief that detained us so we would be unable to appeal,” he said.
Phulu was the lawyer representing the MDC at the High Court.
He also argued that the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which was used to by police to serve the prohibition order was unconstitutional and had to be modified accordingly.
“This is why we are calling for the law to be aligned to the constitution,” Phulu said.
Part of the reasons given by the police against the demonstration stated: “Ordinary citizens in the country are experiencing hardships so any call for the demonstrations might be taken advantage of by the already agitated citizens and violence may erupt.”
Phulu underlined that the argument by the police was an acknowledgement that people are suffering and already agitated, which was “precisely why people should demonstrate.
“That is the reality and police can’t use it as a reason to stop the demonstration. It is difficult to say people will not demonstrate given the fact they are facing insurmountable hardships. We are yet to see what will happen tomorrow,” he said.