ILLEGAL POLICE ACTION MUST BE CHALLENGED
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is astounded by the most recent actions of the Zimbabwe Republic Police on Tuesday 19 February 2013, where through a press briefing, they launched an unwarranted assault on freedom of expression and access to information by purporting to ban citizens from possessing and distributing radios and similar communication devices.
In terms of Section 20 (i) of the Constitution every Zimbabwean is entitled to receive and impart information without any hindrance and the use of common technology such as radio, television or mobile phone is protected by law.
The utterances by the police are patently illegal. This so-called ban has no basis in law. The lengths to which State institutions and actors are now going to deny fundamental rights and freedoms and act outside the law is alarming but is typical of paranoid State authorities who are contemptuous of any diversity of opinion and information.
ZLHR is deeply committed to freedom of expression and access to information. It is also our firm and unshakeable belief that the police are the least expected to act outside the law considering that they are mandated in terms of Section 18 (1) to act lawfully and uphold the Constitution. We refuse to be passive spectators of such blatant violations and impunity, and as such ZLHR is preparing to challenge this purported ban through the courts imminently.