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WOZA leaders released
Crisis 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 constitution.

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