Harare – Zimbabweans have slammed the re-enacted protest ban in Harare, saying long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe’s government was turning the southern African country into a police state.
Reports on Tuesday said that a top police officer Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama had indicated that he will re-impose a ban on protests in central Harare, less than a week after a High Court judge declared it unconstitutional.
The report claimed that the re-imposed ban would run for a month from Friday, September 16.
But in his official Twitter account, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesperson, Obert Gutu, described the country’s police as an extension of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Reports said that the ban would come into effect just a day before a united opposition parties protests kicks off in the capital Harare on Saturday.
According to an earlier News24 report, opposition parties had vowed to stage mass protests to press for electoral reforms over the weekend.
Jacob Ngarivhuma, leader of fringe political outfit Transform Zimbabwe was quoted saying that they were planning to hold at least “210 demonstrations throughout the country to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to accept reforms”.
“We are going to continue fighting. This is the language they understand,”Ngarivhuma was quoted saying.
A previous two-week ban imposed on September 2 was erroneously believed to have been lifted last Wednesday, but this was not the case.
While High Court Judge Priscilla Chigumba declared the ban unconstitutional and invalid, she said her ruling would not take effect for another seven days, effectively giving the state time to plan its next move.
“Zimbabwe Republic Police is now a fully – fledged department within Zanu PF. Tragic,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu twitted while political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya also said on twitter that “Mugabe has turned Zim into a police state by declaring these state of emergency through ban on protests. DEFIANCE IS THE WAY.”