A Zimbabwean high court has annulled a two-week protest ban imposed by the Zimbabwean police in the capital city, Harare.
The protest ban was challenged by opposition activists in the Zim high court. Judge Priscilla Chigumba of the Zimbabwean high court dismissed the ban stating that it was illegal to ban protests. Judge Chigumba also noted that the rule of law and independence of the judiciary was crucial in maintaining true democracy.
Separation of powers, a doctrine favoured in liberal democracies implies de-concentration of power in government by allowing the three arms of government, the executive, legislative (lawmakers) and judiciary, to act independently of each other.
Many have praised the court for its ruling stating that its independence is admirable.
Recently, President Mugabe condemned a court ruling that gave protesters the go-ahead with their demonstrations.
The previous protest turned violent as the Zim police intervened with tear gas and water cannons at what was supposed to be a peaceful march.
Mugabe berated the court that granted the past protesters permission to demonstrate, implying that protests are illegal. His spokesperson, George Charamba said:
“Let everyone be warned – opposition or wherever – that the government will not tolerate this anymore.
“Let them test the authority of the state [if they go ahead with another march on Friday] and then they will realise that until and unless you keep within the lawful confines of the law the full might of the state will visit on your recklessness.”
Since April, the opposition of President Mugabe’s government has gotten bolder. On various occasions, they have taken to the streets, and even orchestrated stay-aways to protest the failure of the Zimbabwean government which has been in power for 36 years. The 92-year-old president plans to extend his rule into the fourth decade at the 2018 presidential polls.