The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, has said that the right to protest was not an absolute right. He also said that demonstrators have to demonstrate responsibly knowing that the next person had rights to enjoy.
Speaking in Senate yesterday during the Second Reading of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill which seeks to repeal the unpopular Public Order and Security Act, Ziyambi said:
Government objects strongly to the characterisation of the Bill as undemocratic without specifying in what respect the Bill is undemocratic or how it violates the charter of freedoms of rights in any way not contemplated in a democratic society. The rights and freedom of demonstrators are not the only rights to be considered when a gathering has the potential to become disorderly. Other human beings have rights and freedoms, in particular, those who might be victimised in their persons or their property by unruly demonstrators.
His remarks follow some negative comments on the MOPO bill by some members of society who view it as a replica of POSA.
They also coincide with the MDC’s protests expected on the 16th of August.
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