Zimbabwe judges criticized by Mugabe for allowing protests

Robert-MugabeZimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has criticised judges who give permission for anti-government protests saying he hopes they have “learnt a lesson” after several demos turned violent.

He said the judges showed a reckless disregard for peace, and warned that they should not dare to be negligent when making decisions.

The opposition has however accused him of trying to intimidate the judiciary, BBC reports.

“It is not just we the ordinary people who should have the understanding” of the need for peace, the veteran leader said, cited in the Sunday News newspaper.

On Monday, opposition supporters are going to court to challenge a two-week ban on demonstrations.

There have been a number of violent protests in Zimbabwe in recent weeks as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

Mugabe recently warned protesters there would be no uprising in the country similar to the “Arab Spring”.

The opposition says the latest demonstration ban is unconstitutional and has approached the High Court to challenge it.

“Our courts, our justice system, our judges should be the ones who understand even better than the ordinary citizens,” he added in the comments made on Saturday in Harare, at a meeting of the youth arm of his ruling ZANU-PF party, the Sunday News reported.

The president said there was violence each time the court had allowed the protests to go ahead.

Police routinely blame a lack of manpower and the security threat as reasons for barring opposition protests, but their arguments have often been overturned by the High Court.

The latest bout of violence began more than a week ago when tear gas and water cannon were used by police to stop protesters.