I am In Court Tomorrow With Dr Simba Makoni
Dr Simba Makoni at the launch of the Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn Party at Stoddart Hall in Mbare on July 01 2009. He now stands charged with addressing his own supporters without police permission in March 2008. He is due to appear in court in Bindura tomorrow to answer to these charges.Harare, Zimbabwe, 14 September 2009
Tomorrow, you should expect my posts and articles later than usual because I will be in Bindura attending court with the Interim President of Mavambo.Kusile. Dawn party, Dr Simba Makoni. I am one of the witnesses for the defence.
As you will recall, Dr Makoni is being charged under the draconian and anti-democratic POSA (Public Order and Security Act) with addressing a crowd of more than 400 people at a bus station in Glendale during his presidential campaign in March last year when he garnered an amazing quarter of a million votes after only a couple of weeks of campaigning.
It is being alleged by two ZANU PF people (one of them with the surname Kukonzeresa) as well as six Constabulary policemen that Dr Makoni sent a team with a loudhailer to drive around the small farming town calling people to a gathering.
It is further said that 410 people gathered at Tsvungubvi Bus Station in the town and that Dr Makoni addressed them with a loudhailer. (It is an offence to address your followers with a loudhailer under the Act, if you have not been given the go-ahead by the police).
I am looking forward to the proceedings and I will obviously update you here as soon as I come back. I also intend to take some photos.
We are, as can be expected, denying everything.
I have been roped in because I was travelling with Dr Makoni throughout his campaign and was part of his convoy, hence I witnessed what happened first hand. Other members of the entourage, including bodyguards and the Forward Team that went ahead of our convoy to tell people Dr Makoni would be arriving in their area will also be part of the witnesses group.
I must just say again that a couple of things are not quite right here.
First, although this is supposed to have happened in March last year, the charges were only activated in June this year, as it became clear that Dr Makoni was about to launch a political party, which he did on July 01 2009.
Second, the Inclusive Government has said that laws such as POSA and AIPPA (access to information act designed to cow the media) will no longer be enforceable and that political parties no longer need permission to hold their meetings. They now only need to notify the police, who have no power to stop the meeting as they did under the previous dispensation.
It has also even been said that these two laws would be expunged from the books.
So much for a new dispensation! Nothing has, of course changed.
This is all a sign of just how afraid this government is of the challenge that Mavambo and Dr Makoni pose to their mediocre leadership of this country and their failure to make a dent in the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.
We say bring it on.