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Constitutional Amendment 18 of 2007 - Index of articles, opinion and anaylsis
take to the streets of Bulawayo today - 200 arrested - News and
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
October 01, 2007
the special index of articles, analysis and opinion on Constitutional
At 12pm today, hundreds
of members of WOZA and MOZA marched through the city of Bulawayo.
Representatives from Harare, Mutare, Masvingo and rural Insiza joined
local members to demand 'peace - not piecemeal amendments.'
The group of singing
protestors marched from near St Mary's Cathedral, pausing outside
to send messages of solidarity to Bishop Pius Ncube, whose courageous
outspokenness against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe have often
made him a target of the State. The group then progressed several
blocks to Southampton House, the location of the Police Licensing
Inspectorate, the office that receives and processes applications
for peaceful gatherings.
Several hundred members
proceeded to sit down peacefully on the pavement outside Southampton
House to await arrest, which was not long coming. Three armed police
officers escorted a group of approximately 200 into the building
where they still remain.
Human rights lawyers
are in attendance. Two mothers with babies that had also been arrested
have been released.
One young member that
is known to police was separated from the others and taken by uniformed
police officers to Drill Hall where she was questioned on why she
had been talking to Magodonga Mahlangu, one of the WOZA leaders.
After being made to do several push-ups, she was released.
comes two days after an all-stakeholders meeting with civic society
and citizens was held in Bulawayo to deliberate on the implications
Amendment Number 18 and the SADC-led mediation between the ruling
ZANU PF and opposition MDC parties. The outcome of that conference
was a complete rejection of piecemeal amendments to the current
constitution and a renewed demand for a new, democratic and people-driven
constitution-making process as the foundation for resolving the
crisis in Zimbabwe.
WOZA, as frontline
women human rights defenders that have often been on the receiving
end of police brutality for having the audacity to claim their constitutional
rights of freedom of expression and assembly, are also demanding
an end to violence as a prerequisite to any meaningful change. See
Steps to a New Zimbabwe'; WOZA's position on the mediation efforts.
Monday 1st - 6pm
158 arrested in Bulawayo
today all released
The 158 members arrested
today in Bulawayo were all released late this afternoon. The 127
women and 31 men were held in Southampton House all afternoon. Police
Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) officers questioned two leaders,
Williams and Mahlangu whilst the others had their names recorded.
Attempts were made to keep Williams and Mahlangu in custody but
the rest of the members refused to be released without them and
vocalised this. Two Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officials,
Maseko and Ndebele, also attended and recorded the life history
of Williams, advising her that they would now be frequently visiting
her home and monitoring her movements. None of the activists arrested
were charged in the end.
delivered by WOZA was delivered loud and clear and whilst we recognise
that police restrained themselves from brutality today, WOZA will
continue to protest for an end to violence against all Zimbabweans
and for a constitution-making process that has people at heart.
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