THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

2 WOZA members spend night in Mutare cells
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
December 07, 2007

Two members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) spent last night in Sakubva Police Station in Mutare. They were arrested yesterday morning during a meeting in the Mutare suburb.

A group of approximately 90 people had gathered in a bush clearing to discuss responsible behaviour when they were approached by 12 police officers. 20 members, eight men, 12 women and three babies were arrested in total and made to walk over a kilometre to Sakubva Police Station. During the march to the police station, several of the members were handcuffed.

At the police station, the group was denied access to their lawyer and also denied food. Some members were beaten. Police informed the group that as most were not carrying their national identification cards, they had broken the law and should pay fines. Without access to legal counsel to advise that this was inaccurate, most members believed they had no other option than to pay the fines and were released at 7pm.

The two that remain in custody refused to pay fines. It is expected that they will be charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and it is hoped that they will be taken to court this morning. There are fears that they may be kept in over the weekend however.

More information will be given as it becomes available.

News Update
7 pm, Friday December 07, 2007

Two WOZA activists remain in custody in Mutare over weekend

It has been confirmed that the two WOZA activists arrested yesterday at a meeting in Mutare will be kept at Sakubva Police Station over the weekend.

Having been denied food all day by the Officer-in-Charge, Rigomega, the women were finally allowed food this evening. Conditions are apparently appalling with the women complaining of lice and mosquitoes in cold, damp cells.

It is hoped that the two women will be taken to court on Monday.

During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and whilst President Mugabe pretends to the world that all is well in Zimbabwe in Lisbon, WOZA salutes the courage of the two women activists who refused to bow to the pressure and threats of police officers and who are determined to defend their right to the freedoms of assembly and expression, whatever the cost.

Please continue to call Sakubva Police Station on +263 20 64212, 64717 or 63145 or the officer-in-charge directly on +263 20 60902 to protest the arrest and continued detention of the two women.

News Update
1 pm, Saturday December 08, 2007

WOZA activists released on $5 million bail

In a surprising turnaround, the two WOZA activists were taken to court this morning and released on five million dollars bail each.

They have been remanded to 21st December. They have been charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 46, as read with Section 2(v) of the Third Schedule to the Criminal Code: "employs any means whatsoever which are likely materially to interfere with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public or any section of the public, or does any act which is likely to create a nuisance or obstruction".

WOZA would like to thank all those who put pressure on the authorities in Mutare to release the two women. Your continued support is appreciated.

Visit the WOZA fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.