9 WOZA activists arrested in Bulawayo
Nine activists from the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) group were arrested
in Bulawayo on Monday evening while conducting their “occupy and demand the
draft constitution” campaign.
The women went around the suburbs painting messages on the roads like, “Fire
Chihuri (the partisan police commissioner); devolution for development; we
want separation of powers and we want education.”
Coordinator Magodonga Mahlangu told SW Radio Africa that the women were
arrested in two separate locations on the night and held at three different
police stations in the city, including Western Commonage.
On Tuesday all 9 women were transferred to Bulawayo Central Police Station.
Mahlangu said the lawyers were working on securing their first meal of the
day after police in the morning denied them access to breakfast.
Those arrested were: Vigilant Lunga, Violet Dube, Theresa Phiri, Catherine
Dhliwayo, Eunice Moyo, Mpikelelo Moyo, Sibongile Lumbile, Miriam Ngcebetsha
and Ottilia Dube.
Mahlangu told us the police took the women to the locations where the
protest messages had been painted on the roads and took pictures.
Last week over 100 WOZA members, including three minor children and three
breastfeeding mothers, were arrested and detained in Bulawayo. The group had
organized a series of protests to push for the release of the draft
The group said they are now using this “occupation style of protest to
demand their full right to peaceful protest, freedom of assembly and
A draft constitution for Zimbabwe is still to be finalized because the
political parties are squabbling over the details. This is despite an
outreach program where people were given the chance to air their views.
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