Police ban cell phones from ConCourt poll challenge hearing
POLICE have banned the carrying of cell phones and other electronic gadgets into the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) premises for Wednesday’s poll challenge hearing with suggestions the highly anticipated process could spill into Thursday.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to inform the nation that people who will be attending the Constitutional Court on the 22-23 August 2018 will not be allowed to carry electronic gadgets like cell phones, laptops, cameras or other recording devices,” police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said in a statement Tuesday.
She added, “To avoid unnecessary delays please leave these items elsewhere. Only accredited individuals will be allowed access to the Constitutional Court premises.
“We kindly request cooperation with law enforcement agents in that regard.”
Politicians, diplomats, civil society leaders, among other interested persons, are expected to throng the apex court for the high profile matter.
Police said only journalists accredited for the event shall be allowed to bring their tools of the trade.
The court process was prompted by losing MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s poll petition against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s narrow victory in the July 30 presidential election.
Chamisa, who polled 44,3 percent of the national vote, is seeking to be automatically declared winner or for the highest court on constitutional matters to order a re-run between him and the incumbent, who triumphed with a 50,8 percent share of the vote.
A tense atmosphere engulfs a restive nation as citizens eagerly await the outcome of a process that could change the face of Zimbabwean politics.
Meanwhile, the state has pulled all the stops to ensure the ConCourt hearing was allowed to proceed hassle free starting with a Monday ban on activists who intended to congregate outside court in attempts to show solidarity with their political parties in the matter.
In their statement released Monday, police said they were on high alert in the wake of alleged threats by individuals to disrupt the court process.
“We want to warn those bent on instigating violence that the law will applied without fear or favour,” Charamba said as she appealed to a restive nation to “remain calm and peaceful as the court process unfolds”.
“We are therefore urging interested parties to allow due process of the court to be conducted without any hindrance,” she said.
Samora Machel Avenue which passes by the court building will be closed for vehicular traffic during the court process.