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Mutare joins in the demand for POWER to the people
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
July 04, 2007

Approximately 200 members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) took to the streets of Mutare this morning as part of a nation-wide demand for power to the people by 2008.

The peaceful protesters marched for four blocks through the eastern city to Megawatt House, the local headquarters of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), where they delivered protest notes and their demand for better electricity supply and an end to corruption. The group sang and toyi-toyied for several minutes within the ZESA offices before dispersing. Police were seen to react fifteen minutes after the group had left Megawatt House.

The Mutare demonstration follows WOZA sit-ins at ZESA offices in Bulawayo, Harare and Masvingo. After the protests, activists in both Bulawayo and Harare were arrested and tortured in police custody, exposing the brutality of a regime that attacks its citizens for demanding an electricity service that matches the high tariffs people are forced to pay.

Whilst there have been no reports of arrests so far, it is anticipated that some members may be followed to their homes and picked up later in the day, as this is what occurred after the sit-ins in Masvingo. Two members were arrested in Masvingo having been followed to their homes, although they were later released.

In a separate matter, the 20 members arrested in Masvingo at the beginning of March during the launch of the People's Charter in the provincial capital, are to appear on trial tomorrow, 5th July, on charges under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

WOZA once again pays tribute to the people of Mutare for taking to the street with their demands, despite ongoing state brutality and the recent cold weather, which would have made time in police cells extremely difficult. WOZA encourages other Zimbabweans to join in the demand for power to the people by 2008 - together we can achieve the brighter future we deserve.

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