Breaking News

'POSA bounces back as MOPA'

by Staff reporter
26 April 2019 | 1803 Views
THERE has been a public outcry over the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill (MOPA)'s provisions, with several legal experts and opposition politicians saying the proposed legislation is a regurgitation of the outgoing oppressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The Bill is part of government's plans to align laws with the Constitution in order to satisfy requirements by the international community that Zimbabwe should exercise democracy.

Its new amendments are mainly to do with public gatherings and maintenance of peace and order in the country.

MDC Alliance legislator Innocent Gonese (Mutare Central), who in 2010 moved a private members' Bill to amend POSA, described the new MOPA Bill as a law which will face rebuff by opposition MPs when it comes to Parliament because "it is not progressive at all" and is a mere replica of the draconian POSA.

"There are no changes at all in this new Bill compared to POSA. Actually, the changes are just cosmetic and it is very similar to the previous law (POSA) because we will still have the same problems of criminalisation and abuse of people who fail to notify the police when they engage in demonstrations or gatherings," Gonese said.

"The police still have powers to prohibit meetings and this can be abused and I would describe the Bill as a regurgitation of POSA, except for that section 27 of POSA was struck down by the courts. Obviously from the opposition perspective, we will not be supporting this Bill, but unfortunately, Zanu-PF will use its numbers (majority) to vote for it.

"They are trying to hoodwink the international community that they are aligning laws to the Constitution, but if you look at the MOPA, it does not speak about repealing of POSA. It should have a clause that speaks about repealing POSA."

Attorney-General Prince Machaya said the Bill was part of realigning legislation to the Constitution, adding that it will also repeal POSA, although such a clause is not included in the draft Bill.

"In aligning POSA to the Constitution, we have to take out all its aspects that are inconsistent with the Constitution and add new material. In that respect, it was decided that POSA be renamed to MOPA Bill. The provisions in POSA that have found their way into the MOPA Bill are consistent with the Constitution," he said.

But Gonese said the Constitution does not speak about applying to the police for people to hold public gatherings.

He said section 69 of the Constitution is very explicit concerning the rights of citizens and so the new Bill would also leave room for criminalisation and abuse of people by the police.

Legal and parliamentary think-tank Veritas in their analysis of the Bill said its provisions were slavishly copied from POSA, adding that all undemocratic features had been retained.

"For example, in clause 5 (8) of the Bill the police will still be entitled to ask political parties for lists of members or office-bearers who attend meetings of the parties' committees or other structures. In clause 7 of the Bill, people will not be allowed to hold public gatherings without giving the police written notice: seven days' notice in the case of processions and demonstrations and five days in the case of public meetings. As in section 25 of POSA, the notice will have to specify details such as 'the exact and complete route' of a procession or demonstration and 'the number and types of vehicles, if any', that are to take part in the procession. Anyone who fails to give notice will be guilty of a criminal offence and liable to imprisonment for up to a year," Veritas said in a statement.

Clause 12 of the Bill will entail that if police are not given notice of a gathering, the conveners will be civilly liable for any damage or injury occasioned by any public disorder or breach of the peace occurring at the gathering, Veritas noted.

"This will be so even if the damage or injury was caused by counter-demonstrators or people who were not under the conveners' control. The draft Bill is not new wine in an old bottle: it is the same old wine in the same old bottle with a new label stuck on it," the legal think-tank added.

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) said MOPA was largely a replica of POSA by another name.

"Most of the provisions are the same and have no effect to the sought-after freedoms. The face powder changes do not address the concerns long raised by citizens and they even ignore some judgments made by the highest courts which were not captured in the new Bill," he said.

"Placing the responsibility of damages on the convenor will see infiltration of demonstrations, as seen before, in order to cause property damage and place the bill on the convenor."

Constitutional law expert James Tsabora said: "The new changes will be that the police no longer have powers to prohibit holding of a rally, and that the President is now the one with the authority to deploy armed forces instead of the Minister of Defence, and that clause 18 of MOPA will also oblige the President to inform Parliament within seven days after deploying the Defence Forces, in accordance with section 214 of the Constitution."

Posa MOPA Bill

Source: newsday


Latest News

BREAKING: Phelekezela Mphoko given ZW$1 000 bail

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 August 2019 | 1 Views

Zimbabwe plunged into darkness again - Zimbabwe has rolled back into d...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 1 Views

Political freedoms are not respected in Zimbabwe

by Bigboy Sibanda | 21 August 2019 | 2 Views

Ibutho leNqama press release on Chief Ndiweni issue

by Ibutho leNqama Spokesperson | 21 August 2019 | 3 Views

'Regime change!' is a desirable consequence of free elections and not ...

by Patrick Guramatunhu | 21 August 2019 | 1 Views

Signs of economic resuscitation rattle MDC - Indications of economic s...

by John Sigauke in Namibia | 21 August 2019 | 4 Views

Zanu-PF eyes Zaka by-election triumph - Zanu-PF's Zaka East by-electio...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 1 Views

Scotch cart accidents kill 3

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 4 Views

Man 'kills' cousin, pretends to be an informant - A TOUT from Bulawayo...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 8 Views

'Regime change!' is a desirable consequence of free elections and not ...

by Patrick Guramatunhu | 21 August 2019 | 8 Views

Mnangagwa: Reformist, corruption buster chimera - PRESIDENT Emmerson M...

by Paidamoyo Muzulu | 21 August 2019 | 2 Views

Mnangagwa dragged into Mphoko, Zacc fight - FORMER Vice-President Phel...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 6 Views

Mphoko, ZACC strike deal

by ZimLive | 21 August 2019 | 9 Views

Mnangagwa denies Majonga 'love rivalry' allegations

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 19 Views

Allan Gray hopes that courts rule in Trevor Manuel's favour against Pe...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 6 Views

ZANU PF youth leader attacks Jonathan Moyo

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 August 2019 | 6 Views

Latest on MDC Masvingo mass demonstrations

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 August 2019 | 3 Views

'Phelekezela Mphoko guarded by CIOs'

by Staff Reporter | 21 August 2019 | 9 Views

Chamisa will never dance to Mnangagwa's tune

by Staff Reporter | 21 August 2019 | 7 Views

'Mnangagwa threatened to kill Majonga over High school lover'

by Mandla Ndlovu | 21 August 2019 | 16 Views

Biti takes on Mnangagwa

by Daniel Itai | 21 August 2019 | 5 Views

Andersen Global comes to Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 4 Views

Chief Ndiweni's dilemma: A balanced analysis

by L Dube | 21 August 2019 | 10 Views

Never promise anyone something you are never sure to fulfil - The resi...

by Thomas Murisa | 21 August 2019 | 6 Views

Mnangagwa's govt frightened to the core, says Coltart

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 11 Views

West steps up pressure on Mnangagwa - The government appears to have s...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 6 Views

Chamisa's MDC in crisis meeting - THE opposition MDC's top leadership ...

by Staff reporter | 21 August 2019 | 3 Views


Top 5 PS2 ISOS to play with friends you can get right now

by Staff Writer | 21 August 2019 | 1 Views

Rebecca Malope retires

by Mandla Ndlovu | 20 August 2019 | 1842 Views

Famous women in the gambling industry

by Staff Writer | 20 August 2019 | 346 Views

Zimfest delivers another 'phenomenal' festival

by Tidi Kwidini | 07 August 2019 | 636 Views

Should you be betting on reality TV show outcome too?

by Staff Writer | 05 August 2019 | 86 Views

WATCH: Jah Prayzah featuring Iyasa Sadza nemuriwo song

by Mandla Ndlovu | 23 July 2019 | 5680 Views

Muvhango star Marang Phala visits Prophet Sovi's church

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 July 2019 | 9626 Views

What To Look For In Video Converter Software

looking for the best video converter software? you have to compare different video converters before making a purchase.the ability to watch video on different types of devices is a wonderful thing. not so wonderful are the compatibility issues that ... Read More
Sergey 19 June 2015 ago

Five Reliable Outlook Pst File Repair Tools

Outlook pst files can become corrupted -- and when that happens, work grinds to a halt. if your organization relies on outlook, one of these tools could save the day. outlook is the industry standard groupware tool. let's take a look at five that can... Read More
ITnews 04 May 2015 ago