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WOZA and MOZA unite in prayer for peace and declare a victory for love and non-violence

Five hundred members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA) conducted a prayer vigil at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo on Saturday 31 March 2007. Although there was a heavy police presence there were no arrests.

The activists gathered to pray for peace in Zimbabwe. This day was chosen to commemorate the night of the 2005 parliamentary election where over 250 women were arrested and many brutally beaten by police in Harare as they conducted a prayer vigil.

Today’s prayer has special significance as political violence is on the increase with hundreds of activists arrested and injured. Prayers focused on the need for citizens to refrain from retaliation and for police to refuse to harm people.

As the pray opened, Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica was sung followed by a prayer that Zimbabweans will continue to choose non-violence and love over violence and hate and use peaceful resistance to hold this government and politicians accountable for bad governance.

The vigil went on for one and half hours with singing and powerful prayers calling for lasting peace in Zimbabwe. Several women took the floor preaching and quoting scriptures such as Matthew 5:9 ‘Blessed be the peacemakers’. Women also testified as to how they were assaulted on election night by police in Harare but called on Zimbabweans to remain committed to peaceful protest. The vigil was closed with Timothy 2:1 ‘You then my child be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and what you have heard from me through my witnesses and entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.’

Initially the participants had gathered in the Church but were moved across to the hall when it became free at 2:30 pm. It was as members were moving over that police details, including PISI officer, Abraham Dapi who is well known to WOZA, arrived. Today, seeking to be surreptitious, Dapi and other officers arrived by commuter omnibus. They did not go into the hall but sat on the church wall and observed. More police officers from the Law and Order department came and their numbers swelled to over 15. A Law and Order officer, Sergeant George Levison Ngwenya, manhandled the WOZA security at the door, asking what was going on in the Hall, threatening her whilst holding her by the scruff of her neck.

As the prayer vigil was drawing to an end it became obvious that police officers were in position and waiting on further instruction. As the members disbursed, Archbishop Pius Ncube came and shook hands with each member, one by one, as they dispersed giving encouragement and reminding people to disperse peacefully. The police officers just continued to observe close by.

After all the members had dispersed, the leaders, including Jenni Williams, began to leave. After shaking hands with the Archbishop they made to walk out of the church grounds. As Jenni left she greeted the police officers who are well known to her. Sgt Ngwenya commented that she had been in a meeting to which she replied that there had been a prayer service. ‘Who were you praying for’ he quipped – ‘For you’, she replied. Ngwenya then roughly pulled one of the prayer organizers aside and asked her when Jenni had become a Roman Catholic. (Williams is not only a Roman Catholic but was in her home parish, St Mary’s)

As Williams and other leaders walked away, police were seen rushing to get into their blue pick up to follow Williams. Fortunately a WOZA security vehicle was quick to pick up Williams and the other leaders and speed away.

WOZA would like to commend Archbishop Pius Ncube for his courage and for the encouragement to members who they knew would have to walk past police officers known for their brutality. We also pay tribute to members of WOZA and MOZA for braving the Public Order Security Act (POSA) and the harsh repressive environment, and their courage to come out in hundreds to pray for peace. We call on the families of police officers Dapi and Ngwenya to give them ‘tough love’ and take them to church to pray for guidance.

Police leave bullets, admit ‘main agenda’ to rise and change government

HIGH Court Judge Nicholas Mathonsi ruled on 20 June 2011 that Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers who had forcefully occupied the Suburbs WOZA property should vacate and restore its full use to the organisation. high-court-ruling-20-june20111

WOZA monitored the situation and observed the police leave after 5:30pm on the 21st June. A cream double came and dropped off a short young officer known to WOZA members and after sometime came back to collect this detective in plain clothes and 2 uniformed details. They left the keys with the tenant stating that police officers were no longer allowed in the property.

WOZA leaders decided to enter the property and verify the state it had been left it and to remove the Ford pick-up that had been in the yard since the raid. A group of six entered the property through the kitchen door and were overcome by a strong smell in the kitchen which caused them to start gagging. The house was quickly closed and the vehicle was driven to a place of safety for the night. Three members immediately began to feel ill with dizziness; vomiting and diahorrea. The next morning the vehicle was offloaded and two bullets (38 mm pistol) were discovered with a metal object that looks like a bearing.

All six members then returned to the house and in the company of Human Rights lawyers and journalists determined that the smell was still present and further investigation throughout the house revealed more ‘planted’ material.

Inexplicably WOZA solidarity cards received from Amnesty members worldwide were removed out of their envelopes and replaced with condoms, both male and female.

A one page document entitled ‘Main Agenda’ had been planted with other WOZA material such as democracy, constitution books that members conduct civic education around. Several copies of this publication were also placed in the document folders of members who had been in the house at the time of the raid.

The state of the house was clearly consistent with information previously obtained on the first day that 20 to 30 plain clothes officers had searched the house.

The fireplace in the lounge shows that something was put up the chimney as there was black ash all over the lounge floor.

At first count many documents and two mobile phones, all food in the house is missing in defiance of the High court order that nothing must be removed.

By 11am, members started to feel very ill and one member fainted and had to be rushed to hospital so the house was closed up once again.

One member spent the day admitted and on a drip and seven other members were treated and discharged. When attending the private hospital, one journalist was also being attended with the same symptoms. Headache; dizziness and disorientation, weak limbs, nausea and diahorrea. The doctors prescribed antibiotics and anti-histamines for all those who attended.

It should be noted that police officers chased away a lawyer who attended the scene of the raid within 15minutes and that our court application was taken on the basis that no legitimate search could be conducted days after the invasion and it was stated that there was real fear that materials would be ‘planted’. Our worst fears were realised by the bullets and other metal objects, documents and condoms planted at the scene. A letter of complain has been sent to the police and court. letter-of-objection-to-law-and-order-22june-zlhr

We also note that had our national coordinator Jenni Williams who is the official organisation representative had attended the house as was constantly demanded over the 12 day invasion period, she would be facing fabricated ‘Treason’ charges. It was not out of guilt that Williams and others left through the back door on the day of the raid but out of knowing the track record of the police officers at the gate and years of members being harassed, threatened, abducted by Law and Order police officers namely George Levison Ngwenya, Lindani Mpofu, Zenzo Moyo and female officer S. G. Ndlovu, known as MaNdlo other whose surnames are Chikango, Nkomo, Chuchu.

Despite knowing their track record, they have stooped even lower than we imagined by poisoning us which is chemical warfare and by fabricating a document.

However, their words ring true in the words they wrote – “People of Zimbabwe we have been oppressed for a long time because we did not know about our right and international obligations. We have lost ubuntu. Dignity and respect because of the type of leadership we have. They are corrupt. They are stealing from people to make themselves rich.  .. We are tired of President Mugabe and he must go by all means. He is full of abuse of power with his ministers. He has no respect of law. (His own laws and International Laws).

They go on to confirm their deepest desires by saying, “Everyone wants him out. Let’s all rise and remove him now. When the date is fixed you will be told. We will do it. Others have done it in Libya, Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt.”

WOZA members stand firmly behind their founder and national coordinator Jenni Williams and ‘praise the lord’ for saving her from these fabricated charges. Williams and WOZA members are committed to a nonviolent struggle and do not believe that bullets can deliver dignity and true independence for all Zimbabweans to enjoy equally. We think that if anyone should be facing Treason charges it is the police officers named above who wrote the ‘main agenda’ document. But as mothers of the nation and through mothers’ eyes we understand that they are finally speaking the truth – we send them our love and say keep speaking out. We will expect their active support when Zimbabweans do what they have suggested in their Zimbabwe Republic Police ‘main agenda’. police-officers-main-agenda-document

Members arrested, beaten and 11 dumped in a cemetery out of town

Medical UPDATE – One member has a fractured hand, an injury from a baton stick. Three members lost their shirts which were torn and tatteredafter blows from the baton stick wielding police officers.

WATER shortage protests continued in Bulawayo with 57 members arrested and beaten. The first edition of the protest began at 11am targeting the Council administration Tower block. A squad of 4 Riot Police disrupted the peaceful protest and surrounded 35 members. After 15 minutes senior police officers, one identified as the Controller, arrived and engaged the group announcing that he was ‘driving them off’. He was semi professional and no one was beaten or taken them into custody.

As midday struck 5 additional protests began separately all intending to converge on the Government complex. The first protest reached the Mhlahlandlela complex but a green truck carrying the reaction squad with 12 Riot Police. They quickly arrested 11 members, 9 women and 2 men and took them across the road to the Drill Hall, placing them under guard at 12:15.

The same vehicle then drove to the intersection H. Chitepo Street and 10th Avenue. The police officers disembarked to beat members were marching towards the complex. They indiscriminately beat even passes by. As they beat people these officers loudly shouted insults and violently beat anyone in their path. They shouted tribal and gender obscenities referring to the Ndebele people and calling the women prostitutes.

The second 11 were then arrested by the same squad, one referred to as Mukoshi who said he did not care if the activists knew his name. He also said with great support and approving laughter from his colleague, ‘this country was liberated by blood and only those who spilt blood can be the ones to talk.’ He went on to ask them to answer his question in the Shona language – Do they have their own dams, why are they asking for water.

The 11 were then forced to sit in the truck and driven to Bulawayo Central. When they got there and as they were disembarking, Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights chief law officer was present. The officer commanding Bulawayo Chief Inspector Rangwani  arrived and shouted at the officers asking them what they had brought these women to the police station. He said take them back to where you got them. The driver of the police truck in the hearing of Lizwe Jamela said he would not take them back to Drill Hall but would drive them into the bush and dump them. He promptly drove away toward Victoria Falls with the lawyer in pursuit dumping them at a cemetery out of town. Four members are being seen by the doctor and many others are being attended by the WOZA medical support triage. The first 11 members arrested have also since been released so no members are left in custody at this time.

WOZA have argued that there is a tribal element of the manner in which police in Bulawayo treat WOZA members and this has today been further confirmed by the insults of all the Riot Officers. The women were called prostitutes and told not to speak to each other in the Ndebele language as the Ndebele people were all killed off by Gukurahundi in the 1980s. please see the list of demands http://wozazimbabwe.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Woza-Moya-WATER-November-2012.pdf

WOZA part of zimdecides

Released by: Bulawayo CSOs Zimbabwe Situation Room
Contact: Debra Mabunda: +263 772 217 052 and Jenni Williams: +263 772 898110

Press Statement: Bulawayo CSOs Zimbabwe Situation Room Launch
Zimbabwe elections have a history of being dynamic in that one can never predict how they will be conducted or whether they would be free and fair.
It is in this view that the Zimbabwe CSOs decided to come together and utilize a tool which has been used by the West African countries termed the ‘Situation Room’. This tool has been tried in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal with positive results.
The principles of this tool are:
– It involves all CSOs in the country or at least as many as possible
– Its reports are ongoing. They are not about results, but about the whole process; pre-, during and post elections
– It has a coordinating team in a room. Response is immediate where necessary and possible (real-time).
– It utilizes scientific deployment of observers and monitors
– It is pro-active in crisis management work with other people on the ground to ensure all areas and issues are covered and addressed i.e. faith-based organisations, Government including ZEC, media etc
– It collects, verifies and act on data in real time

Zimbabwe Situation Rooms will be in Bulawayo and Harare to ensure coverage of the country as widely as possible and ensure that issues and incidents are dealt with at the greassroots level in real time.

The Situation Room will be issuing statements and briefs at least twice a day.
The coordinating team will be at the Holiday Inn. It will utilize all forms of communication including social media but will only issue data that is factual and verified.

The Situation Room is open and welcomes other people who have information or seek information about the elections. Members of the public are also welcome to phone or send messages on issues that are of concern to them, both good and bad.

For more information please call Civil Society Representatives on the following numbers;
Public Hotlines: 08080082, 08080034, +263 772 177 077
Visit us on: www.zimdecides.org

African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights accept WOZA case

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has received formal notification from the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) that a recent communication, outlining continued human rights abuses perpetrated against WOZA members, was accepted during the 14th Extraordinary Session held from July 20-24, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. By accepting the communication, the ACHPR requests that the Zimbabwean government respond to the rights violations included in the document.

The communication number 446/13 was taken by Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, and WOZA against the Republic of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Lawyer’s for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Washington-based Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) now have 60 days to argue for admissibility of the case.

The nature of the complaint is that the Republic of Zimbabwe – which ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on May 30, 1986 – has routinely violated WOZA’s right to peaceful protest and assembly. The communication, which was initially submitted in April 2013, documents a lengthy series of arrests, beatings, arbitrary detentions, and general physical harassment of WOZA members for over a decade between 2003 and 2013.

Formed in 2002, WOZA is a mass civic movement with a countrywide membership of approximately 85,000 citizens. WOZA lobbies and advocates on issues pertaining to women and their families in Zimbabwe and participates in a range of peaceful campaigns, both locally and internationally. WOZA’s principal aim is to mobilise Zimbabweans, particularly women, to demand social justice and educates its members about their rights and freedoms and encourages them to fully participate in important civic processes. WOZA conducts civic education programmes and teaches its members nonviolent ways to advance and protect their basic human rights.

Natioinal Peace and Reconciliation Bill Commentary

The following Bulawayo Organisations having met on 27 January 2016 to set the minimum standards regarding the content, process and framework for national peace and reconciliation Zimbabwe. The organisations will therefore urge government to amend the NPR Bill to give effect to the provisions of Section 252 of Constitution.
The Organisations have noted that the Bill falls short of the minimum standards (International Best Practise) .The Following were noted:

• The Constitution establishes an NPRC that is accountable to Parliament; the Bill proposes an NPRC that is accountable to the Executive through the Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation.
• The Constitution protects the Security of tenure of Commissioners while the Bill seeks to give the President Powers to terminate the services of the Commissioners at will.
• The Constitution empowers the Commission the power to recruit its own staff, while the Bill seeks to empower the Minister to appoint staff from the Civil Service to work as Secretariat staff of the Commission thereby compromising the independence of the Commission.
• The Commission is not independent .The Minister decides the meeting place,dates and time of the Commission (First Schedule section 6 (10).Section 8(7) gives Minister power to stop disclosure of evidence by issuing a certificate barring disclosure .This defeats independence as per section 235 and undermines the truth telling section 252 (c)the Minister has power to bar the truth from being told.

• In terms of Section 252 the mandate of the NPRC is to deal with the past in a manner that facilitates the following:
a) Ensuring post conflict justice ,healing and reconciliation
b) Truth telling about the Past
c) Making of amends and the provision of Justice
d) Peaceful resolution of disputes

The wording of the Bill seems to be opposite in fact its roles seem to be duplicating the Human Rights Commission.
• The Constitution does not provide any term limits for Commissioners .Section 237(3) provides that the conditions for the removal of Judges shall apply to members of independent Commissions .However the Bill Provides in Section 3(1) that the term limit is Five Years or Commissioners and the President can either appoint a further 5 Year term or decline .This takes away the independence of the Commissioners as their further appointment is subject to Presidential approval.
• The NPRC Bill sections 10(1) and 11(1) gives the Minister power to assign current serving Civil Servants to work as Secretariat for the NPRC. International Best practise recommends that such commissions best function with limited government interference and that there should be diversity in terms of ethnicity and professions from different backgrounds and disciplines such as Legal Experts, Researcher ,Social Workers, Investigators ,Scientists and many others .The recruitment of the Civil service will affect the Integrity of the Commission .
• It has been noted that why most Independent Commissions have not been effective because of resource starvation .Notably has been the Anti Corruption Commission. The NPRC Bill‘s main Weakness has been that it gives the Government the power to control the NPRC’S financial Resources .Section 14 (1) (c) gives the responsible Minister to approve donations to the NPRC .The Financial autonomy of the Commission is lost.
• The NPRC makes the Commission to be accountable to a Minister yet the Constitution is Clear that the Commission is accountable to Parliament .Section 235 makes it Clear that Independent Commissions are accountable to Parliament. The Bill makes the Commission almost like a Ministerial Taskforce and the Commissioners dependent on a Minister .The Constitution envisages that the Commission reports to Parliament through the Minister. But the Bill makes it look like that the Commission reports to the Minister who may Cherry pick what he can share with Parliament.
• Section 252 lists the functions of the Constitution .The Bill in Section 6 has a section titled the Functions But does not broaden the functions. As Best Practise its always expected that subsidiary Legislation should always be expanded to give effect to the Constitutional provisions.
• Section 8(13) of the NPRC makes some reference to witnesses and Victims and guarantees of safe and impartial space .The Bill is not exhaustive on the specifics of the protection mechanisms to guarantee safety of would be witness and victims .It does not spell out relevant Psycho Social mechanism available to assist witnesses and
• Certain provisions of Bill create Legal Bureaucracy. Section 8(5) allows the alleged Perpetrator to be represented by a lawyer this creates room for justice for the rich who can get away with offences on legal technicality as the Commission becomes more of a Court.

Endoresed by
1. Abammeli
2. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
1. Bulawayo Vendors and Trader’s Association
2. Basilwizi Trust
3. Christian Legal Society
1. EWF
2. Iibhetshu likazulu
3. National Youth Development Trust
4. PRIZ
5. Radio Dialogue
6. Skills and Technologies Hub Institute
7. South Western Region Gender Network
8. Street Wise Informal Traders Association (SWITA)
9. Victory Siyanqoba
10. Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)
11. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

98 members arrested in Harare today

98 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA) were arrested at noon today whilst protesting the continued harassment of and violence against human rights activists at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

The activists were arrested Parliament and were made to sit in Africa Unity Square for several hours before being moved to Harare Central Police Station. Human rights lawyers are in attendance. It is still unclear what charges are being brought against the group.

More than 250 activists took part in the protest march through central Harare. This action follows peaceful street demonstrations in Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare last month on the same theme.

WOZA recently launched a report on the political violence perpetrated against its members during the last few years. A copy of this report can be found below.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

WOZA members beaten in the streets of Bulawayo on International Women’s Day

Over 1,000 members of WOZA and MOZA marched through the streets of Bulawayo today to commemorate International Women’s Day. The peaceful protesters, who were carrying balloons, were met by riot police after four blocks and viciously beaten. Over 50 members received medical attention for injuries caused by the assault.

WOZA in the streets of Bulawayo on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2008The aim of this march was to exhort Zimbabweans to stand up for their children in these times of extreme hardship and to encourage people to vote in the coming elections. As they marched, the demonstrators distributed flyers urging people to inform themselves of the policies and track records of the candidates running in their areas and to choose leaders who will deliver a socially just future, regardless of their political affiliation. The group also carried balloons that carried the message – Stand Up for Your Child.

As the procession neared the Chronicle offices, the dispersing point, a police officer known to WOZA, approached Jenni Williams and asked her to take the protest off the road, to which Williams indicated she would do so at the next intersection, Jason Moyo Street. Before they could reach there, a loud noise that could have been a shot or tear gas was heard, alarming the peaceful activists. Riot police officers then violently set upon the demonstrators, severely beating the two young activists holding the rear banner. They then moved through the procession beating people as they fled.

The women human rights defenders, feeling provoked by the violence they had seen, regrouped and began a second protest before being violently dispersed for the second time. Police then adopted the strategy of moving amongst groups and saying out the ‘woza moya’ (come holy spirit) slogan and assaulting anyone who sang out the reply ‘woza’!

A member from Pumula, Eva Tanyanyiwa, was beaten to the ground by two police officers and lay prostrate before being dragged up and pulled towards the police vehicle where she fainted. When Jenni Williams went to implore the officer to leave the woman alone as she was seriously injured, they arrested her as well. Magodonga Mahlangu then joined the two in solidarity. The trio were driven to Bulawayo Central Police Station being threatened by police officers all the way. On arrival at the police station, the three women had their details taken before being released after 30 minutes by a police officer who said they should go and get Eva treated as she had ‘fallen in the road’.One of the WOZA members injured on International Women’s Day

Eva has serious bruising on her upper arm and lower body. Another women had to have stitches to her neck as she was pushed by a police officer into a stationary vehicle whilst another was pushed into a pole by a police officer, receiving a deep cut across her forehead. Other injuries included a woman who developed a haematoma just above her kidneys as a result of being beaten and many others with deep tissue bruising from being beaten with baton sticks.

This violent response by police negates recent information that WOZA had received that police had been instructed not to arrest or beat WOZA members until further notice; evidence of which has been borne out by the reduction in arrests since October last year. The release of the WOZA leaders after a brief period however does not bear out even more recent information received that the uniformed forces and prison authorities had been briefed to arrest and detain WOZA leaders and deny them bail until after the elections. They had also been instructed to teach the WOZA leaders ‘a lesson they will not forget’ whilst in detention.

Undaunted by these threats, WOZA members decided to continue with their peaceful protest, an act of courage that obviously put them in a dilemma, especially as the news had already been covered by independent media.

WOZA would like to pay tribute to its members that came out into the street today to join events that have been taking place all over the world to mark International Women’s Day, despite recent threats by the Commissioner of Police, Augustine Chihuri, that police will meet demonstrations with the utmost force, including live ammunition. Their determination to stand up for the future of their children with dignity and courage is to be commended and WOZA would like to urge all other Zimbabweans to stand up and be counted.

2 arrested in Bulawayo over weekend; trial of Bulawayo 2 postponed

Two WOZA members, including a 15 year-old girl, were arrested in Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon. They were held for two days by police before being released late last night with no charge.

It appears that ZANU PF members in the area had witnessed some people taking a bag into the house of a WOZA member. They alerted the police who waited outside the house as no one was home. When one of the women went to the house to ask for salt, she was arrested by the four plain-clothed police officers who accused her of being a WOZA member. When the 15-year-old daughter of the house arrived shortly afterwards, she was also arrested. Police then illegally entered the house and confiscated a bag of WOZA flyers.

When the older woman shouted to a neighbour that she was being arrested, she was hit by one of the police officers who told her to keep quiet and not tell anyone, as their being arrested ‘was a secret’. The two were then taken to Pumula Police Station where they were questioned about WOZA leaders, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, both who are currently in Chikurubi Women’s Prison. They were threatened with death if they did not answer the questions correctly. One police officer, a sergeant, also constantly demanded that the young girl have sex with him and threatened to have her sent to prison if she refused. She however continued to resist, saying that she would rather die in prison than get disease.

Both were questioned for several hours. The 15-year-old girl was finally released at 2am but was told to return to the police station in the morning. She was accompanied back to her house by two male police officers who continued to pressure her to sleep with them. The other woman was kept in the charge office at Pumula Police Station and made to sleep handcuffed to a pole, apparently because she was a high flight risk.

The questioning of both women continued in the morning. When a lawyer tried to gain access to them, he was turned away and told that he could not see his clients without the permission of Law and Order officers from Bulawayo Central Police Station. The two were taken to Bulawayo Central in the afternoon where they were questioned in the presence of their lawyer. Both were released around 7.30pm without charge and ordered not to tell anyone in their area that they had been set free.

Police went back to the neighbourhood in the afternoon however and searched the house of another woman whom they accused of being a WOZA member. They did not find any WOZA materials and left. They have threatened to search every house in the neighbourhood however as they say that the entire area is obviously WOZA.

Meanwhile, the trial of two other members, Trust Moyo and Cynthia Ncube, on charges of distributing materials likely to cause a breach of the peace, has been postponed to 8th July.

Free Williams and Mahlangu appeal

Nine WOZA members released; two face charges of criminal nuisance

ON Saturday 16th, police officers released the nine WOZA members who had been in detention since Wednesday night. Two members, Samukeliso Sibanda and Jema Gama, were asked to report to the police station this morning (Monday).

Upon arrival, the two were advised that they were to be charged with being a ‘public nuisance’ under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. They were then taken to the Magistrates Court where they appeared before Magistrate Charity Maphosa. The defence lawyer from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights advised that they plead guilty, which they did. The magistrate will deliver a ruling at 11:15 on Tuesday 19 August 2008. The charge normally carries a fine.

Whilst the two women appear in court on the 19th, WOZA will launch a report on the trauma experiences of its members in Johannesburg, South Africa, entitled ‘Counting the Cost of Courage: Trauma Experiences of Women Human Rights Defenders in Zimbabwe’.