CONSTITUTION WATCH 2/2016
[10th January 2016]
Constitutional Court Case To implement Section 210 of the Constitution To Set Up an Independent Mechanism
to Deal with Complaints against Police and Security Services
Date: Wednesday 13th January 2016
Venue: Constitutional Court, Mashonganyika Building, Samora Machel Avenue, Harare (next to High Court building)
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Case No: CCZ 42/15: Rashid Mahiya v Minister of Justice & Others
Please Attend the Court Hearing to Support this Case
This case has been instituted by Veritas because of the delay [two and a half years] in carrying out the important constitutional provision for such a “mechanism”. This is a public interest matter and Veritas urges everyone who is concerned about the conduct of the police and other security service personnel and the use of violence in the curtailment of civil liberties, especially the right of to demonstrate and to express views freely, to attend the court hearing.
Note there will be two cases heard this Wednesday – this case and a case on the death penalty. It is not known which case will be heard first.
Constitutional Provision for the Complaints Mechanism
Section 210 of the Constitution states: “An Act of Parliament must provide an effective and independent mechanism for receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of the security services [i.e. the Police Service, the Defence Forces, the State intelligence services and the Prisons and Correctional Service], and for remedying any harm caused by such misconduct.”
The government has done nothing so far – almost two and a half years after the constitution came into force – to set up this mechanism. This court case seeks an order compelling the government do so.
The case is made more urgent by the increasing numbers of public demonstrations – most recently by teachers and operators of commuter omnibuses – and the violence employed by the police to break them up and restore order. Anyone who has seen pictures in the press of police officers apparently beating teachers and commuter omnibus drivers will realise how necessary such a complaints mechanism is. It will also help the police to fulfil their constitutional mandate while respecting the citizens of Zimbabwe.
The court papers for this case are on the Veritas website www.veritaszim.net under Various Documents – Con Court case – Constitution sec 210
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