Zimbabwe judge ‘takes on President Mugabe’ by
backing protesters


Zimbabwean High Court judge Priscilla Chigumba
has ruled that a two-week ban by police on
protests was illegal.
Police issued the ban last Thursday prohibiting
demonstrations in the capital, Harare, ahead of
a planned anti-government protest by opposition
The challenge was brought by activist Stan
Zvorwadza, who heads the National Vendors’
Union of Zimbabwe.
He told the BBC he welcomed the ruling and he
and his members wanted to protest peacefully
about the mismanagement of the country.
He was represented in court by Tendai Biti, a
lawyer and former finance minister, who told the
BBC it proved Zimbabwe’s courts were
My clients can now demonstrate
today or tomorrow. This is a
brave judgement

We as human rights defender are
we are very proud of the
decision that has been handed
down this afternoon.”

This ruling comes after a warning to judges over
the weekend by 92-year-old President Robert
He criticised a court which gave permission for an
anti-government protest at the end of August.
It turned violent when police ignored the court
order and tear gassed demonstrators.
Mr Mugabe said the judges had showed a reckless
disregard for peace, and warned that they should
not dare to be negligent when making
future decisions.
Today Judge Chigumba said the independence of
the judiciary and the rule of law was important
to democracy, which appears to be an indirect
attack on President Mugabe.
She also told the police that if they felt they
wanted to pursue plans to ban the protest, they
had seven days to follow the correct procedures,
which would mean approaching the minister of