Magombeyi abduction, High Court bars police from blocking doctors’ march

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court Judge Clement Phiri has barred the police from interfering with an intended protest march by health workers demanding the safe return of missing Harare doctor Peter Magombeyi.

Magombeyi was seized by suspected State security agents on Saturday and nothing has been heard from him since.

On Wednesday police blocked doctors from marching to Parliament where they intended to present a petition to the legislature’s presiding officers.

The march started around lunch.

This followed an urgent chamber application filed by the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association seeking an order barring the police from interference.

Doctors went on strike on Monday demanding action from the State regarding Magombeyi’s whereabouts and the protest has since sucked in all health workers across the country as well as threats by teachers to join in.

Phiri on Thursday ruled that the doctors have the right to demonstrate.

“The Applicant and its beneficiaries, be and are hereby allowed to exercise their constitutional right to demonstrate by engaging in a peaceful demonstration and street march from Parirenyatwa Hospital to within a radius of 20 metres from the vicinity of Parliament on the 19th of September 2019 starting from 13:00 hours to 16:00 hours,” Justice Phiri said.

He added: “Respondents be and are hereby interdicted from interfering directly or indirectly, obstructing or stopping the march referred to in paragraph 1 without a valid court order granted by a competent court.

“The ZRP be and is hereby directed to provide a sufficient number of police officers to keep peace while the said demonstration is taking place.”

Officer commanding police Harare Central Business District was cited as the first respondent.

Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema were also cited as respondents.

There was no order on costs.