News:President Mugabe and Paul Mangwana Differ on High Court Judgement Approving Nera Demo
President Robert Mugabe and senoir Zanu-PF member, Paul Mangwana are holding opposing views on the judgement granted by the High Court on 26 August which ordered the ordered Nera organised demo to proceed. Speaking about the judgement while addressing the Zanu-PF Youth League National Assembly at the ruling party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday, Mugabe said:
Our courts, our justice system, our judges should be the ones who understand even better than the ordinary citizens. They dare not be negligent in their decisions when requests are made by people who want to demonstrate, to hold these demonstrations. In light of the violence that we had earlier on, surely they should have taken note to the fact that when permission was given four days ago, there was violence; when it was given two days ago, there was violence.
To give permission again when they (judges) are to the full knowledge that it is going to be violent or (there is a) probability that there is going to be violence is to pay reckless disregard to the peace of this country. We hope now they have learnt a lesson, ivo majudges.
Paul Mangwana however said that it was the duty of police to justify the refusal for a demonstration and that the law and the courts are not the issue:
The courts simply look at whether you have presented a case denying the right to demonstrate properly. So you can't fault the courts if you bring a weak case. You have to bring a strong case. The police or the state has to say, this right to demonstrate, because Posa is the one which limits the right to demonstrate. But you must jjustify it before the courts. if you don't justify it properly you will be denied. They will be allowed to demonstrate.
Asked whether posa and the supreme law (constitution) was adequate in addressing situations of demonstrations, Mangwana said:
I think the law is okay, because the constitution provides the parameters under which people can petition and demonstrate. Hence Posa outlines how you can have the right to demonstrate. If someone is unhappy they go to the courts. What I think is lacking is the state's readiness to substantiate and convince the court why a particular petition and demonstration should not happen.