Harare - Zimbabwe's controversial ban on demonstrations is actually still in force, it emerged on Thursday.
The ban was widely reported to have been overturned by a High Court judge in Harare on Wednesday. But a transcript of the ruling shows that in fact the "declaration of [the ban's] constitutional invalidity" won't take effect for another week.
Reads the order, issued by judge Priscilla Chigumba: "It is just and equitable... that this declaration of constitutional invalidity be suspended for a period of seven working days to allow the competent authority to correct the defect."
Analysts now say that the order - celebrated by lawyers and activists alike when it was issued - allows President Robert Mugabe's under-fire government to buy time.
The ban was issued last week by a senior police officer in a bid to halt to near-daily protests against corruption and misrule in this troubled southern African country.
The next protest is planned for Sunday when protesters plan to sing the anthem Nkosi Sikilela during the 36th minute of a football match in Bulawayo. This is not a march, so it is difficult to see how the authorities will stop it.