Zimbabwe court overturns protest ban in Harare

Zimbabwe’s high court has overturned a two-week ban by police on demonstrations in the capital Harare.

The challenge was brought by activists, who are opposed to President Robert Mugabe and his government.They described the court’s ruling as “a brave judgement”, coming days after President Mugabe condemned a previous court ruling allowing a demonstration that turned violent.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwean High Court judge Priscilla Chigumba ruled that the ban on protests was illegal, She said that the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law was important to democracy.

Stan Zvorwadza, one of the activists who challenged the ban, said he welcomed the verdict, adding that he and demonstrators wanted to protest peacefully about the mismanagement of the country.

He was represented in court by Tendai Biti, a lawyer and former finance minister, who told the BBC it proved Zimbabwe’s courts were independent. “My clients can now demonstrate today or tomorrow. This is a brave judgement,” Mr Biti said.

President Mugabe at the weekend criticised a court which had given permission for an anti-government protest at the end of August.

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