Doctors Petition High Court to Stop ZRP from Interfering with Protest Over Missing Medical Practitioner

HIGH Court Judge Justice Clement Phiri will on Thursday 19 September 2019 preside over the determination of an urgent chamber application filed by Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) seeking an order to stop Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) from interfering with their march to serve a petition on Parliament demanding accountability over the whereabouts of Dr Peter Magombeyi, who has been missing since last week.

In an application filed on Wednesday 18 September 2019 by Fiona Iliff, Jeremiah Bamu and Doug Coltart of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, ZHDA argued that its members were prevented by some heavily-armed riot police from marching to Parliament Building, where they intended to serve a petition to legislators demanding that Zimbabwean authorities urgently do everything to ascertain the whereabouts of Dr Magombeyi, who was abducted from his home in Budiriro high-density suburb on Saturday 14 September 2019 by some unidentified people.

ZHDA argued that as a professional association of medical professionals which exists to promote the dual functions of delivering efficient health services and better working conditions for medical practitioners, it is exempted from the requirement under the Public Order and Security Act to notify ZRP of the demonstration.

ZHDA wants the High Court to interdict ZRP from prohibiting or interfering with the march and to be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to demonstrate by engaging in a peaceful demonstration and street march from Parirenyatwa Hospital to Parliament Building from 13:00 hours to 16:00 hours on Thursday 19 September 2019.

The medical practitioners, who cited the Officer Commanding Police Harare Central District, ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Cain Mathema, the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister as respondents, also want ZRP to be ordered to provide a sufficient number of police officers to keep peace while their demonstration is taking place.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights