Last week the president announced that he would be reintroducing some strict lockdown rules in response to the spike in coronavirus cases. During the following few days there was a public outcry with regards to how the ZRP and other security forces were enforcing the lockdown. People said there was an inconsistency among various checkpoints as each checkpoint seemed to have its own rules and demands with some being asked for documents that they did not have and being turned back.

In response, during the weekend the ZRP published a public notice which listed some of the documents people who were travelling for certain purposes were required to produce. Despite the clarity, there was a lot of concern as a lot of references were made to a letter one had to obtain from an Officer In Charge in their area. According to government spokesperson, Mr Nick Mangwana this was done in order to keep forgery to a minimum. However, experience has shown that getting hold of an Officer in Charge is not an easy task. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, you could visit a station for a week and still fail to get an audience. With the pandemic, it is bound to be harder.

This weekend document prompted the Zimbabwe Young Lawyers Association and one Tichaona Nontokozo to file an application at the High Court asking for some of the demands in the document to be nullified. This order was granted.

The Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe and Nontokozo Tachiona, represented by @obeyshava1 have obtained a Court Order from the High Court barring the ZRP from enforcing requirements for the public at checkpoints as set out in the press statement published on 25 July 2020

YLAZ on Twitter

It’s not clear which requirements were nullified but the Officer in charge requirements are one of those. Also it’s not clear whether this order will change anything really. People will probably be still turned away using the provisions that the court has nullified.