Don’t abolish Posa – Police

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.

The DailyNews

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Chinotimba questions Impi funding

HARARE – Fiery Zanu PF legislator, Joseph Chinotimba  yesterday said the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi) was wasting tax payers’ money by embarking on a non-essential programme when the money could be better used to fund war veterans’ children.

Chinotimba raised the matter in Parliament during question time. He questioned the logic behind the creation of Impi and demanded to know who was funding its activities.

“We hear of a commission of inquiry in the media that is being undertaken and  we ask who are funding  them as we are hearing stories that some of the members of that committee were getting $300 per day as sitting allowances, with their  bosses collecting $ 10 000 per month,” Chinotimba asked.

“Who does not know there is no  radio and television signals in Buhera or Tsholotsho but we are hearing that these people are  getting a lot of money, saying they  want do work for media and broadcasting and what work they are doing that  justifies these allowances?”

He said as a leader of the war veterans, he was worried that their children were not getting any help from government whilst legislators were not receiving sitting allowances yet Impi  was  well-funded.

However, Chinotimba recently attended one of the Impi outreach programmes in Harare where he was full of praise for the committee, saying it was a welcome development. Chinotimba then used the Impi platform to attack newspapers for what he described as “unprofessional conduct.”

Samuel Udenge, deputy minister of Finance, said he was not aware of who was funding Impi. He promised to find out.

Impi, conceived last April by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo, is mandated to “inquire into, assess and determine the policy, legal, technological, business, human resource and institutional adequacy and readiness in the information sector.”

It is made up of top editors from the public and private media, marketing and advertising representatives, information and communications technology experts, civil society members and other professionals.

The panel has been travelling around the country, collecting information on media issues by holding public hearings.

The DailyNews

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