Victory for the people of
Zimbabwe after Justice Priscilla Chigumba
this afternoon in the High Court, declared S1
101A invalid and unconstitutional effectively
ending the two week ban on protests.
In an interview with ZimEye soon after the
court verdict civic leader, Mfundo Mlilo said;
“The ruling asserts the independence of the
courts and the importance of the constitution
in our democracy. It is a welcome ruling.”
The outcome of the hearing is crucial in the
sense that President Robert Mugabe raised
the stakes when he openly rebuked judges who
make decisions in favour of protesting
citizens.
Zimbabweans have for the first time in
history through various political and civic
platforms broken out of their fear enclosures
and with great determination
begun mobilising around issues which affect
their lives. In a panic the ruling Zanu PF
party sabotaged the last mega demonstration
organised by the National Electoral Reform
Agenda (NERA) by quickly gazetting Statutory
Instrument 101A.
Earlier this morning, Justice Chigumba
adjourned the court to 3pm after the
applicants and the respondents had made
their submissions.
The applicants who are being represented by
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR)
lawyers Tendai Biti and Dzimbabwe Chimbga
had argued that the S1 101A of 2016 is void
because the regulatory authority which
enforced the instrument has no power to
make laws. They also argued that S1 101 A of
2016 must comply with Section 134 of the
constitution in 3 respects.
1. Act must empower exercise of law making
component.
2. The regulatory authority does not have
power to make laws
3. The constitution is clear that Statutory
Instruments cannot emasculate rights given
in the Constitution.
Justice Chigumba had met both parties’
lawyers in her chambers on Monday and
informed them that she would hear the matter
Wednesday.
Harare lawyer Biti who is acting for the
applicants — Democratic Restoration Assembly
(Dare) leader Mr Gilbert Dzikiti representing
opposition parties under the National
Electoral Reform Agenda and residents
represented by national vendors’ leader, Mr
Standrick Zvorwadza confirmed the latest
development.