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Maria Moyo - Our shero
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
November 06, 2007
15 March 1950 -
6 November 2007
Late Maria Moyo was born
on 15 March 1950 in Gwanda. She died on 6 November 2007 at age 57
years. She was married with 9 children and her last born is a Grade
4 pupil. She left behind 12 grandchildren. She did her primary education
in Gwanda at Siboza Primary School up to Standard 4. She joined
the liberation struggle in 1970's and went to Zambia and Botswana.
She joined WOZA at its
formation in 2003 and was normally in the front of the protests
and normally one of the first to be arrested. She was arrested 10
times and was once kept in solitary confinement in Sauerstown Police
station; Maria was often just picked up from her home for no apparent
On 24 August at around
4 am, Law and Order officers known to WOZA arrived at her Mabutweni
home. Even though her daughter and husband told the officers that
she was very ill and tried to refuse them access, they insisted
on taking Maria from her home in the freezing cold conditions of
that day. Some of the officers involved in this abduction operation
are Tshuma, Mthunzi, Masarira, Ncube, Mpofu, and three female officers,
one called MaNdlovu. They took her to a bushy area at Khami Ruins
and interrogated her and 5 others on the rocks overlooking the Dam.
They threatened to throw her into the dam tied up with ropes and
When WOZA members Williams
and Mahlangu visited her that day, she testified speaking in iSindebele,
"I have never been so scared in all my life - they wanted
to kill me. I became very cold and began to shake uncontrollably,
the police became worried so they put me in the car and switched
on the heater until the shaking subsided." The sudden appearance
of a white person carrying what looked like a camera bag is what
made the police officers fear exposure and they took the 6 members
and 18 month old baby home. But having survived the liberation war
and despite medical treatment Maria never recovered.
She will be remembered
for her ready smile even in the harsh jail conditions. She will
be remembered for her courage and commitment. We will remember her
as an outspoken defender of human rights and as our SHeroe. May
her soul rest in peace in a better place than the living hell of
Lala ngokuthula qhawekazi
lethu - Rabala ka e getso ma!
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