HARARE – Police yesterday said they wanted the draconian Public Oder and Security Act (Posa) ratained on Zimbabwe’s statute books ostensibly because it helps them to maintain law and order.
Assistant commissioner Takawira Nzombe told the parliamentary thematic committee on Human Rights that the police wanted to continue using Posa, which has been used to curtail freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
Nzombe was giving oral evidence on behalf of commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri.
“We have some people saying Posa is draconian which is not our opinion,” Nzombe told the committee, chaired by Zanu PF MP Mike Nyambuya.
“Some people and organisations have taken us to court over Posa saying that our application of the law is undemocratic.
“For example, we have students from the universities who want to demonstrate disregarding some sections of Posa that requires them to seek permission and clearance from the police.
“We need to meet the convener of the meeting so that we can plan together for the protection of the public who might not be interested in the demonstrations.
“We need to make sure that they are secured and they are not disturbed, for example, like the flow of traffic on the streets and the stealing of vendors’ wares and destroying of properties.”
MDC legislator Patrick Chitaka called for the reduction of police powers and accused them of selective application of the law in arresting people, banning meetings and infiltrating private meetings.