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WOZA women arrested for wanting power for the poor
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
May 19, 2011
all women, were arrested along Khami Road in Bulawayo and detained
at Western Commonage police station between 8 and 9pm Wednesday.
The women are from Iminyela and Pelandaba suburbs. The members were
arrested by police officers who accused them of painting messages
on the road. The messages read - 'power to poor people' ; 'no lengthy
load shedding' ; 'prepaid meters now!'; focus on the electricity
crisis in Zimbabwe.
WOZA fear torture
of members, 14 members were tortured while in custody in March 2011.
This morning, food brought by relatives and lawyers access was denied
by Assistant Inspector Purazeni, the officer-in-charge at Western
Commonage police station whose officers arrested the six, he is
said to have indicated that the orders came from above.
WOZA, a women's
movement identify electricity supply as directly targeting the role
of a woman in the home. As a result WOZA have lobbied the Zimbabwe
Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) for close
on 5 years to provide an affordable and regular service. A multi
faceted protest strategy is used peacefully targeting local and
city based company officials.
follow a 10th May protest to the Bulawayo electricity power station
to launched a 6 week 'Power
to Poor People' Campaign to 'discipline' the ZETDC for its daylight
robbery to consumers. Members are also continuing to engage suburban
office of the power company with consumer deputations to deliver
'yellow cards' with their demands. The campaign demands are:
- Stop cheating
fixed meter consumers, we demand prepaid meters.
- Please provide
cheaper firewood, candles and matches, we do not want to destroy
our environment by cutting down trees.
- We are tired
of 18 hour power cuts -provide proper timetables of load shedding.
put in place a proper and transparent billing system. Stop sending
metered consumer's estimates, send ACTUAL bills.
- Create a
smoother process of customer's claims for compensation.
- Review recruitment
policy and bring salaries to decent levels with our current economic
record. Professionalise staff performance and honesty. No more
luxury cars we need transformers.
- We will record
the exact hours we receive electricity for the last 2 weeks of
May while we get petition signatures which we will take to Parliament
and demand they review your monopoly and poor service. You have
cheated us for long enough, after we submit our demand to parliament
we will organise a RED card Campaign. Be warned POWER TO THE POOR
- ZERO service ZERO bill. HOKOYO!!
includes obtaining signatures to a petition dubbed the 'Anti Abuse
of Power' Petition; completing of a time sheet of power cuts and
the delivering of a 'yellow card' to the company. WOZA has campaigned
for affordable and available electricity since 2006 with its 'power
to the people' campaigns. In response to a campaign demand the company
have just advertise power cut schedules but have indicated that
there will be longer cuts as this is winter in Zimbabwe.
save our activists from torture by calling +263 9 403996 up to 8
speak to Assistant Inspector Purazeni, the officer-in-charge at
Western Commonage police station or call the Law and Order Dept
on +263 9 72515. Please remind them to conform to international
standards of detention and ask them to allow WOZA members to lobby
for and power for all to enjoy.
the WOZA fact
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