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to spend the weekend in custody
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
February 15, 2013
of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were arrested
and beaten continued to seek medical attention. Five where remained
in custody last night were 5 men and 1 woman. The men were released
but Bertha Sibanda was detained and remains in custody at Bulawayo
Central Police Station. All of those arrested were denied access
to food delivered by WOZA leader Jenni Williams. The officer in
charge of Bulawayo foolishly told Williams that the 5 were not hungry.
is charged with contravening section 132 of the Code
that is publicly exposing herself and being a nuisance. She was
very traumatised by the police refusal to respond to WOZA's
formal complaint about her treatment in a Water protest on 12 November
2012. She joined the Valentines Day protest in order to follow up
on the complaint. The events of that day were similar to the Wednesday
in Harare and Thursday in Bulawayo situation whereby junior officers
indiscriminately arrest WOZA members, then the senior officers refused
to allow the arrests. In November instead of recognising the mistake
with humility, they bundled her and 10 others into a vehicle and
dumped them at a cemetery out of town. Just as she did on Valentine's
Day, Bertha and her colleagues had undergone severe beating, tribal
insults by police officer Mukoshi. WOZA have since demanded he be
disciplined but this request has been ignored.
the protest, a male member Lucky Ncube was arrested. Although he
was never charged with anything, his crime seemed to be having a
camera. He was later released at 11pm with the 3 bystanders who
had also taken photographs. During the evening in custody, he was
taken Law and Order Department room 5. Whilst there he was made
to him remove his trousers as a humiliation. He was also made to
remove his shoes and beaten with whip under his feet. This type
of torture is termed 'falanga'. Its common use if to
inflict pain without evidence of bruising as the soles of the feet
hide such injury. The officer suspected to have conducted this torture
is Z. Moyo. Lucky was also asked if he knows the party Zanu PF and
accused of trying to discredit Zanu PF by publishing photographs.
He was threatened that Zanu PF is the party that can spill blood
which is the language often used by police officers who have become
partisan. He was then released at 11pm and followed by police officers
for several city blocks until he managed to obtain transport to
go home. It is assumed that the police officers wanted to determine
if you would make contact with WOZA leaders including Jenni Williams
who had been conducting a vigil outside the police station. At 10:30
pm, police officers had chased the women away.
Day protest is part of the annual 'love' protest, this
year's theme is - One Love. During the two protests
in Harare and Bulawayo one hundred and ninety members were arrested
plus 4 bystanders who simply took photos with their cameras. We
estimate over 50 members were beaten with the hard rubber baton
sticks that Riot Reaction Group police carry. WOZA medical support
team have provided pain killers and muscle rub to most of these
members but 13 had to attend for professional medical attention.
Two additional members had to be taken to the hospital today -
one due to a blow to the head and another had 3 stitches to her
inner lip and lost 3 teeth due to police beatings.
the WOZA fact
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