Zimbabwe Court Outlaws Broad Restriction of Protests

November 1, 2018

On October 18, 2018, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe declared a section of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), legislation that prohibits demonstrations without clearance from security forces, unconstitutional. This decision represents a positive development after 52 activists were arrested the week prior for planning demonstrations over the country’s economic crisis. A statement by Court Justice Rita Makarau notes: “[Section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act] . . . has the potential of negating or nullifying the rights not only completely, but perpetually.”

In September, a public order outlawed public gatherings without police approval due to post-election turmoil and a cholera outbreak. However, civil society leaders have argued that the ban has been applied selectively to target government opposition and civil society groups. The World Movement welcomes this decision and urges the government of Zimbabwe to respect it accordingly. Read more about the case here.