Police bar ZCTU anti-brutality march

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Police have turned down an application by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to hold a commemoration against police brutality in Kuwadzana on Saturday.

In a letter dated September 13, 2011 and signed by one Chief Superintendent T A Chagwedera, the police threatened to clamp down on demonstrators should they defy the directive.

“In the event of any defiance, we shall not hesitate to invoke the provisions of Section 29 of the Public Order and Security Act, Chapter 11:17,” reads part of the letter.

It went on to raise the issue of possible violence at the gathering.

“There is a potential threat that both your intended march and commemoration may be hijacked by political malcontents and criminals and degenerate into violence,” read the letter. Yesterday, the ZCTU said they had since engaged the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, to contest the ban at the High Court.

The commemorations have been held since 2007 to mark the police brutality of 2006 when they descended on demonstrating workers and arrested over 200 of them in a countrywide swoop.