Legislation regulating protests and demonstrations

Nyathi v Movement for Democratic Change (Bulawayo Provincial Youth Assembly) and Others (Case No. HC 186/12) [2012] ZWBHC 16 (25 January 2012)

This was an application to seek a spoliation order to restore possession and control of political campaign materials.

The court determined whether the applicants had made out a case for spoliation.

The court found that the applicants did not notify the police of their demonstration and prayer session under section 25(1)(a) of the Public Order and Security Act. Failure to notify the policy of a public gathering is an offence under section 25(5) of the Public Order and Security Act.

Biti and Another v Minister of Home Affairs and Another (34/2002) [2002] ZWSC 9 (27 February 2002)

The applicants sought a declaration that section 24 of the Public Order and Security Act (the Act) contravened sections 20 and 21 of the Constitution that provide for the freedoms of expression, assembly and association.

Section 24 of the Act provides that the organiser of a public gathering is required to issue a well written notice, four days before an intended gathering, to the regulating authority for the area in which the meeting is to be held, and that if he fails to do so, he commits an offence.

Zulu v Attorney General (S.C.Z. Judgment No. 6 of 1994) [1994] ZMSC 6 (31 May 1994)

The appellant, the secretary general of the University of Zambia Students Union, together with his president obtained a permit from the police for the students to hold a public rally at the Kafue Roundabout.   They were later informed that the permit had been cancelled and called to the State House where the   president ordered them not   to   hold  their rally at Kafue Roundabout but at UNZA. The students, however, proceeded with the march at Kafue Roundabout. They were blocked by the police who told them to disburse. The students refused and were arrested.


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