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in Zimbabwe Coalition
April 20, 2010
The four women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
leaders, Jenni Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, Clara Manjengwa and
Celina Manjengwa and Celina Madukani who were arrested
on Thursday 15 April 2010 have been released. The four were released
today 20 April 2010, after spending 6 days in custody.
Williams, Mahlangu, Manjengwa
and Madhukani were arrested when they attempted to hand in a petition
to the management of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)
during a peaceful protest held on the 15th of April I Harare. Members
of WOZA and MOZA who took to the streets were demanding an improvement
in ZESA's services delivery and billing system.
The activist, who were
supposed to appear in court today were released after police and
the prosecutor failed to justify their arrests and continued detention.
Instead of being taken to the courts, the four were taken to Attorney
General's Office, where conditions leading to their arrest
were revisited and it was revealed that their arrest was illegal
since they were operating within the confines of the constitution.
It is also understood that on Saturday 17 April, the police asked
the four to pay admission of guilt fines, which they refused to
do since that had no case to answer.
Crisis in Zimbabwe
strongly condemns the continued arrests and illegal detentions of
activists by the police especially at a time when the country is
celebrating 30 years of Independence as this defeats the whole purpose
of the liberation struggle. The four women spent the whole independence
weekend in detention with no charge laid against them impeding upon
their fundamental freedoms. Such unwarranted actions are evidence
of the unprofessional conduct by members of the police force who
arrest innocent civilians for exercising their rights as enshrined
in the Zimbabwean
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