THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has resolved to challenge the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) after police used it on more than 10 occasions to bar its leader Morgan Tsv
angirai from addressing meetings.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman William Bango said over the past week police had prevented Tsvangirai from addressing 11 meetings in Bikita East, Bikita West, Masvingo North, Gutu South, Gutu North, Gokwe Central, Gokwe East, Gokwe West, Kadoma Central, Silobela and Hwedza.
Bango said Tsvangirai believed the police were abusing their powers in denying him his freedom of expression and association.
“Tsvangirai has no option other than to put up a test case in the courts to get clarity on the police interpretation of Posa,” Bango said.
“Posa merely requires political parties to inform the police as a formality, not to ask for their approval, to hold meetings.”
He said Tsvangirai was further disturbed by the fact that the planned meetings were not open, public rallies but consultations with officials from the MDC’s structures in the rural areas. Such meetings are not covered by Posa, according to Tsvangirai’s understanding.
“The reasons given by the police vary from place to place,” Bango said.
“The most common is that there is a shortage of manpower, or that Zanu PF also wants the same venue, or that the officer who is supposed to give the go-ahead is off-duty.”
He said Tsvangirai was concerned about this development which casts serious doubt on whether Zimbabwe can hold a free and fair election next year.