Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Police disturb WOZA loveday

Bulawayo members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) selected Friday 13th February 2015 to conduct their 13th Valentine’s Day procession. At 245pm, two processions began, one in 9th Avenue and one in 14th Avenue. Both processions had over 550 members taking part and marching through the city to the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex to hand over a petition to the resident minister.

The protest was conducted under the theme – Demanding Dignity – Demanding Women’s Empowerment! The protest followed a civic education programme covering the constitution clauses on the right to earn a living. Members’ demands were written on placards and contained in the Woza Moya newsletter being distributed along with the traditional red roses.
The demands included the creation of jobs, a halt on the relocation of informal traders from Bulawayo city centre and the urgent convening of a country wide consultation to map a collective way forward on how to revamp the economy putting women and youth at the centre of the economic empowerment action plan.

Both protest groups arrived undisturbed at the government complex after a 20 minute march. The police officers in the vehicles merely watched and followed. Upon arrival at the complex, the security guards immediately locked the gate barring the two members due to deliver the demand entry. Undeterred the peaceful members began their Mhlahlandlela programme, singing their composed songs stating their demands and putting across their views. As the final stage of the programme was coming to an end, 15 anti riot police officers who had been dropped off a distance away arrived where the singing and slogan chanting members were located.

They made to surround those by the gates and started to push them away with baton sticks. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu both advised the police officers that the protest was now dispersing and asked them to allow for closing slogans for peaceful dispersing. Both were rudely told to shut up and get away, both were manhandled as they tried to stress that police officers were now causing disorder by prodding and threatening to beat members, by now many afraid and beginning to run away. The police officers continued to push the leaders and members down the road towards Herbert Chitepo Street.

As the front group reached this street, they made to turn left to go towards the bus terminus, anti riot officers ran and blocked them once again prodding and manhandling those trying to get to the terminus through this road. With no choice those in this forced procession, and then went towards 12th avenue hoping to once again take a route to the terminus, once again the police officers ran and blocked them. Now perplexed most members kept demanding where they should go and they were answered by baton sticks in the ribs or back respectively depending on which way they were facing.

A police twin cab showed up with an occupant obviously a high ranking officer, both Williams and Mahlangu went to ask him if he could make the orders clear but he ignored both with a stony demeanour. This officer was engaged repeatedly by WOZA leaders but he remained un-responsive and showed no obvious role as an officer sworn to uphold peace and order.

As the members now in some sort of a ‘forced procession’ continued to be shepherded out of town some police officers began to let on that they were pushing members to the industrial sites. Some police officers threatened that they were awaiting the arrival of a vehicle to take members to be dumped in Plumtree, a town 100 kilometres away. For several more city blocks the police officers blocked any exits, using baton sticks and threatening now numbering over 90 members. They refused to allow a slower pace or rest in the shade for anyone, even the elderly.

At the intersection of 15th avenue and H. Chitepo Street, the start of the industrial area, two members fainted. One member, Thabani Nyoni was beaten on her lower back and immediately fell down and was unconscious. The other member was quickly revived but Thabani spent over 10 minutes unconscious. When she came to she could not speak, an ambulance had to be called due to her condition. At this time some police officers had continued to push members for another 30 minutes deeper into the industrial area. Some members managed to stay behind with the unconscious members, until the ambulance had arrived and loaded up Thabani to take her to hospital.

After the ambulance left, 50 members marched back into the city in a final action of defiance exercising their right to protest. As they marched they sang ‘WOZA will never be killed’ right up to the bus terminus where they peacefully dispersed as had been the original plan. The police boss and 6 officers followed in the twin cab but made no further attempt to disrupt the march. As this final contingent came back through the route they had taken forced by police baton sticks, vendors and bystanders who had witnessed the first event clapped hands and ululated.

Five members had to receive medication for soft tissue bruising and Thabani was admitted to the emergency rooms and finally discharged two hours later.

WOZA leadership met on 16 February to discuss police behaviour during the protest. They resolved to write a formal letter of complaint to the police who did not follow their legal mandated procedure and allow member to peacefully disperse. Instead they used cruel , inhuman and degrading treatment forcing members out of town and using violent means to deprive them of their constitutional right to protest.

Bulawayo members to march 13Feb2015

Zimbabwe joins citizens of the world in commemorating Valentine’s Day, a day to give each other a red rose that represents LOVE. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members, the majority of them are women and some brave men are still drawing attention to the need for LOVE in Zimbabwe.
The love WOZA members wants is LOVE that brings dignity.
Dignity will help us rebuild our lives and our country.
Dignity also comes from Zimbabweans being able to exercise and enjoy all their rights including the right to earn a living.
This year our theme is – Demanding Dignity – Demanding Women’s Empowerment!
These are the roses we want from our Government!

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members have been conducting Valentine’s Day marches since 2003 demanding LOVE from their Government and asking Zimbabweans to chose LOVE over hate. After 13 years of Valentine’s Day marches, we still need and want the same things.

While we recognise progress it is only words and no deeds to match these high and mighty words.
1. The election promise was one million jobs but lip service was not followed up by the promised jobs. Members continued to try to survive by informal trading.
2. Members thought the ZimAsset would bring jobs, but the document once again lifted our expectations only to crash them down. The very people who wrote the document are ignoring it and enriching themselves.
3. The Constitution has a good complement of the issues we wanted, including the right to earn a living and the right to protest but we are tired of hearing that they are still aligning the laws. Stop making excuses and let us enjoy our Constitution.
4. Even the latest monetary policy is full of promises for empowerment, will these promises be delivered?

WOZA has been busy conducting civic education programmes for members to ready themselves for socio-economic empowerment – we are marching now to say we are ready to receive rapid empowerment.
We have read the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe ‘Chapter 2-National objectives’, sections 13 on National development , 14 on Empowerment and employment and section 15 on Food security and Chapter 4 section 51 – right to human dignity’. We understand that the word ‘Republic’ means –
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

We – the supreme citizens – elected representatives who immediately forgot about us. They squabble amongst themselves occasionally sending nonsensical directives like introducing prepaid water meters and removal of vendors from the streets. Chombo where is the directive to create jobs? Instead you order the City council to chase vendors off the streets. Mr Chombo enough is enough with your nonsense please reread the national objectives and put Zimbabweans – women – first.

Whilst members wait for the promised jobs, they survive on informal trade which is their source of livelihood and disregarding this survival strategy will increase poverty. Members stated that through vending they are able to feed their families, educate their children, clothe them and pay rent for a decent standard of living. The solutions are clear and known – but lack implementation – the root cause of prolific informal trading is lack of employment. Directives issued that only address the effects – informal traders everywhere – will not fix the problem.

As the supreme citizens, we demand our elected leaders convene an urgent country wide consultation to map a collective way forward on how to create one million jobs and revamp the economy putting women and youth at the centre of the economic empowerment action plan.

Huge amount of Police deployed fail to stop WOZA members march for love

Anti riot Police deployed here, there and everywhere at street corners, attempt to disturb the Bulawayo Valentine’s Day protest. The police officers actively chased women away from each other as they tried to gather. A further two landrover vehicles with over 10 officers also drove helter skelter jumping from their truck to scatter groups of women. A 8 tonne truck was also stationed in Herbert Chitepo Street with a contingent of officers jumping in and out of the vehicle to scatter women.

WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, on foot to participate in the protest were followed by a double cab with 6 officers from the law and order department. These officers took countless pictures and video footage of the 2 leaders as they awaited the 1115am start time at one of the start point. They then followed the protest taking footage of the whole activity.

As Williams and Mahlangu started the protest the 8 tonne truck made a show of trying to bump the activists attempting to open the banner. The drive also kept hooting to try to disturb them. Eventually a sufficient number of members drew close enough so that the protest march could move towards the government complex, Mhlahlandlela. Once the protest started, many police officers were looking down at their shoes, embarrassed at their previous behaviour. The big truck drove away leaving the peaceful protest. Two other protests, one near the High Court and another in Joshua Nkomo Street managed to start and proceed without disturbance. All three protest groups with over 1250 members finally arrived at the government complex.

A police cordon at the entrance of the Mhlahlandlela Government complex blocked the activists from delivering the petition to the Resident minister Eunice Moyo. The protest programme continued. Four leaders, including Williams and Mahlangu made pavement speeches citing the reasons for the protest and made demands for free primary school education delivered by 30 December 2014. As the speeches were about to come to an end, two over 80 year old grandmothers, took the floor to tell the police that ‘they did not want to be herded like cattle as they dispersed’.

After the closing slogan – umkhonto wo thando – Zhii (the love spear rules), Williams and Mahlangu led the crowd in dispersing, toward the nearby bus terminus to catch their commuter buses home. A small delay in the crowd dispersal occurred when two police trucked blocked the road near Ross Camp, the provincial headquarters of the police. This caused the members to have to walk around the trucks to get to commuter ranks.

WOZA leaders decry the waste of resources used to deploy over 150 police officers from early morning, to monitor and disturb peaceful women from handing out roses and constitution pocket books to Bulawayo residents. “There is a severe shortage of police officers to do the work of arresting criminals and investigating looters of public funds. However police officers are never in short supply when there are peaceful women exercising their democratic rights by marching to ask for love or demanding that constitution be activated”. Said WOZA National coordinator Jenni Williams

Practice the spirit of Ubuntu for the love of Zimbabwe

WOZA calls on Zimbabweans to practice the spirit of Ubuntu for the love of Zimbabwe
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) will conduct their traditional Valentines Days peaceful protests, handing out red roses and calling on public office bearers to practice the spirit of Ubuntu (I am because we are) and realise that they represent people, and should do by respecting their own and the peoples dignity. This activity comes at a time when the nation is shocked by revelations’ of obscene salaries being earned by office bearers. As this looting continues unchecked, the economy crumbles.

The anniversary of the referendum soon approaches on 16 March 2014 but very little has been done to harmonise laws so that the full richness of the constitution can provide much needed dignity to citizens and empower them with ways to check theft of public finance, corruption and to recall representatives who have been missing from their constituencies since the July 2013 election.

Valentine’s Day also comes at a time when the promise of free primary education a foundation of the liberation war and a clause in the constitution declaration of rights is in disarray. School levies have skyrocketed and corruption in schools has now reached unacceptable levels. Members of WOZA report that more children are being chased away from school. The Basic education Assistance Module, (BEAM) has been bankrupted and has been discontinued, when just one month’s salary of former CEO of the Premier Services Medical Aid could have paid fees for hundreds vulnerable children. During the peaceful marches WOZA will be exposing these injustices and demanding the urgent activation of the constitution, with the delivery of primary schooling as a priority to be met by 30 December 2014.

WOZA also support the joint position of civic society regarding the need for more transparency and accountability by public officials. The statement by CSOs calls for the government to take urgent action to restore sanity by “instituting a commission of enquiry tasked with further investigating the obscene salary saga, ‘tenderpreneurship’ and any other underhand dealings taking place in the public sector”. The statement also calls for the dismissing all those found to be on the wrong side of the law. WOZA along with CSOs also expects the dismissing all board members implicated, naming and shaming them and also calling on them to right the wrong by paying back the money or donating to BEAM.

WOZA ask members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to respect the right to protest and petition contained in the constitution and ask them not to trample upon the roses of love. Valentines Woza Moya 2014

Bertha to spend weekend in custody

Bulawayo members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were arrested and beaten continued to seek medical attention. Five where remained in custody last night were 4 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.

Bertha Sibanda 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 Days 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. http://wozazimbabwe.org/?p=1370

Also during 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.

The Valentine’s 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.

195 arrested during Valentines Day protests, 50 beaten, Bertha remains in custody

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members in Harare and Bulawayo conducted their traditional Valentine’s Day protests and both protests were marred by beatings and arrests. This is the 11th year WOZA has conducted such a protest and this year’s theme is under the theme – One Love.  One hundred and ninety five were arrested then released after some hours but one woman remains in custody.

At 2 o’clock on 13 February 2013, Harare members marched towards parliament in two separate formations.  Riot Police based at Parliament disrupted the both protests and fired 5 canisters of tear gas to disperse the over 1000 strong protest sending members and bystanders scurrying for cover. Many people were affected by the tear gas and some children were seen crying. Business came to a standstill due to this indiscriminate use of force to disrupt a peaceful protest.

Over 25 members had to seek medical attention including the 8 members who were arrested at parliament and beaten by the 8 Riot police during the 20 minute wait for the police van to take them into custody. A ninth bystander a male, had his cell phone taken and was separated from the others and beaten for over 20minutes between the police reaction group headquarters in Harare’s Cramborne Barracks and Harare Central police station.

The 8 arrested were Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, Clara Manjengwa, Hilda Murapa, Enia Mazambare, Tambudzai Manangazira, Siphetheni Ndlovu and Maria Majoni. As the women arrived at the Police station, the receiving police officer chided his uniformed colleagues for ‘arresting WOZA’ and told them to take them away. For over 2 hours no progress was made and it was unclear if the 8 were in detention or not but their liberty was obviously curtailed. After they were release all 9 including the bystander spent another 3 hours lodging a formal complaint about the beatings, tear gas and abuse they had suffered. A police report number is available for the complaint. All nine then were taken to hospital for treatment and x-rays for the brutality meted out on them at Parliament.

On 14February 2013 members in Bulawayo conducted their Valentine’s Day protest. Members decided to march to the police Headquarters in 9th Avenue, at Southampton House. Members wanted to demand that the Police respond to formal complaints about police beatings and brutality. Police brutality prevailed during a Water protest on 12 November. WOZA then marched to hand over a protest on 29 November but no response was forthcoming.

The 4pm protest began with smoothly but when the 8 protest groups number 800 members neared Southampton house, Riot police swooped and began indiscriminately beating members. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu managed to regroup the protest and after many skirmishes managed to get the members to sit down on the pavement so that official proceedings could begin. As this began senior ranking officers repeated order for Riot officer to beat the two activists who were still recovering from the Harare protest assault.  Police officers began arresting any male person they observed with a camera, numbering 6.

The police boss then requested Williams to go upstairs to the officer to dialogue with the police provincial leadership. After obtaining assurances that nothing would befall the members and that the 6 men arrested would return with Williams, her and a colleague went upstairs.

The meeting was to be short-lived as the officers were obviously not cooperative and kept blocking progress by insisting on a formal letter requesting an appointment to receive feedback on the many complaint letters.  The meeting came to an abrupt end when Williams was telephoned by Magodonga Mahlangu to say all the participants had been arrested by the Riot Reaction group and taken to the Bulawayo Central Police station. Williams then walked out of the meeting and handed herself into custody with 179 other members. The 6 male members were also still in custody at Southampton house.

The same police bosses who had attempted to meet Williams, then arrived at the station and misled the meeting with Williams had been fruitful and that they did not know why or how the members came to be in the police station but that they should leave immediately. Williams then addressed members say they would leave police custody but only if the missing 6 male members were also released as they had all been together. Without any further dialogue the officers barked order to the Riot Reaction group to remove the 180 members forthwith from the police station.  A few members were then beaten again.

It transpired that of the six men that remained in custody only 1 is a WOZA members, the others bystanders who took photos of the protest. They were this night tortured by intelligence agents and then released home for the night with instructions to return at 9am on 15 February.

The woman, Bertha Sibanda is in custody for ‘indecent exposure’. She was one of the 180 in custody and she stripped naked in the police station in frustration at not having her complaints addressed. She is one of the 11 members who were in a Water protest that police violently disturbed and was subjected to tribal insults about Gukurahundi when she lost family to this massacre. complaint police harrasment to ZRP 13nov incident and Follow up letter 14 Feb13 police complaint

Meanwhile 6 members had medical attention, one of who has to have 3 teeth pulled due to batons stick injury to her mouth. Several members have reported being called by police officers requesting information about the protest plans and made the offer of money for information. Two of the calls were made from Bulawayo number 60248 Code (00 263 9). WOZA suspect this number to be of an intelligence office. WOZA invite activism to assist us in holding this intelligence office accountable for harassment and beating of WOZA members in an attempt to curtail their right to protest.

WOZA handed over their demands contained in the February 2013 Woza Moya Newsletter.  Woza Moya Feb 2013

Update on 2 Court Appearances

WOZA leaders Williams and Mahlangu appeared on 26th April 2012 in Regional Court A at Tredgold Magistrates Court before Magistrate Sengweni for a ruling. Magistrate Sengweni refused the application for removal off remand appearances and remanded the activists to return to court on Friday 29 June 2012. The application had been made due to High Court application still pending. The application is for a review of the Magistrate’s decision to drop charges at close of the state case.

On 27 April 2012 10 WOZA members, including the national coordinator Jennifer Williams appeared in Court one in the case of the 7 February arrest during a peaceful Valentines Day protest. The matter was for the Magistrate to rule on an application for a Supreme Court application regarding Criminal Nuisance charges. The Magistrate was not present in court and the matter was remanded to 18 May 2012.

WOZA Shosholoza for love at Parliament but get bashed by police

Five hundred members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in two separate protests marched to Parliament to commemorating Valentine’s Day and WOZA 10th Anniversary under the theme – Shosholoza for love!  The first protest arrived and was stopped 50 meters from the Parliament door by 8 baton stick and shield wielding Riot Police who refused to allow them to pass.

The activists took the opportunity to sing their love songs to the police and chant their slogans. Four leaders took the opportunity to address the gathering on the constitutional reform requirements of members and the role police should have been playing instead of stopping the peaceful activists.

A 20 minute impasse was broken up by the arrival of a police Landover. The second protest arrived and was also blocked. A senior officer then began to demand the activists disperse and pleas to allow one person to hand over the Woza Moya newsletter with demands fell on deaf ears. He then threatened to use ‘minimum’ force to disperse the gathering but before he could give any orders, a bigger vehicle arrived with over 30 riot police who did not speak to the officer but started to use their shields to push the women and men away from the road. One officer with the tear gas gun cocked the weapon in the air making as if to shoot it.As they pushed members away, some police officers began to beat the peacefully dispersing crowd and this cause pandemonium and people started to run away at speed.

One of the participants was beaten by 4 police officers at once taking turns to slay her across the neck and shoulders.  She apparently was being beaten met with this level of severity for telling them -‘the thieves are going free while you beat us’. After they set up her she then told them off saying – you are now the ones starting violence.

Ten members had to seek medical attention for soft tissue bruises and lacerations caused by baton stick injuries.

WOZA call on the police officers to be more professional. It is illogical to beat people as they are actually dispersing and a sign that police officers have too high an appetite for violence. WOZA also wish to draw comparison between the semi professional behaviour of police at parliament who go through the motions of engaging protest leaders whereas in Bulawayo the police offices just jump from their truck and thump anybody in sight showing a greedy appetite for violence. On 7th February the Bulawayo edition of the protest was violently dispersed by police officers and over 30 members had to seek medication for abrasions and bruises.

An opinion by Lawyer Andrew Makoni WOZA counsel 2009 on the role of police from the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23)…..the legislature is aware that processions inevitably interfere in some way with other people’s movements, hence the provisions of section 29 (1) (c) which prescribes what a police officer may do if a regulatory authority has not received a notice of the intended procession more than 48 hours before the gathering, where such notice is required. In terms of this subsection, an officer may restrict the gathering to a place or guide the participants along a route. This section does not give the police the power to arrest in the event of an unlawful gathering but the power to regulate the gathering. Neither does the act provide police officers with the right to brutally disperse peaceful human rights defenders.

Members appear in Court and remanded to 21Feb

TEN members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) appeared in Magistrates Court one at 9:30am before Magistrate Vivian Ndlovu. Those appearing include national coordinator Jenni Williams.

The Defence were represented by Mr Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Nikiwe Ncube.

The matter was in court for Trial but no state papers had been served on the defence team so they could prepare for Trial. Mr Jamela summarised the activist complaints against the police and put the state on notice that at the next appearance on 21 February 2012, they will submit a written application for refusal of further remand. Jeremiah Mutsindikwa appeared for the state.

The charges come under the Criminal law (codification and reform) Act [chapter 9:23] Act 23/2004 Section 46 Criminal nuisance’ Acts constituting criminal nuisance – 2. Any person who – (v) employs any means whatsoever which are likely materially to interfere with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public or any section of the public, or does any act which is likely to create a nuisance or obstruction; shall be guilty of criminal nuisance.

These charges seem to contradict the Supreme Court Ruling obtained in 2012 by Williams and Mahlangu. The essence of the ruling is covered in the main points available at this link on the WOZA website. http://wozazimbabwe.org/?p=1181

Members Released, face immediate Trial 13 February 2012

TEN members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and 4 bystanders arrested on 7th February 2012 were finally released. The 4 bystanders including a 16 year old girl, pregnant 18year old woman and a vendor were released at the court. The ten members including WOZA leader Jenni Williams went on to be formally charged when they appeared in Court One. They were granted free bail with no conditions but the state insisted on setting a provisional Trial date of Monday 13th February 2012.

Although detained for ‘failing to notify the police of a demonstration’ a section of the notorious Public Order Security Act (POSA) they were finally charged under a lesser charge.

Criminal law (codification and reform) Act [chapter 9:23] Act 23/2004 Section 46 Criminal nuisance’ Any person who does any of the acts specified in the Third Schedule shall be guilty of criminal nuisance and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both. Acts constituting criminal nuisance – 2. Any person who – (v) employs any means whatsoever which are likely materially to interfere with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public or any section of the public, or does any act which is likely to create a nuisance or obstruction; shall be guilty of criminal nuisance.

All fourteen are suffering from Flu like symptoms and 2 had to be taken to hospital. This was a result of the fourteen being kept in the filthy cockroach infested open fenced area of the police cells 3 hours from 11pm to 2am on the first night. This was during a 5 hour meeting by police bosses debating on how to proceed. Most junior police officers were refusing to process the activist saying they should be released. Sanity did not prevail as at 2am, the order came for detention and the docket disappeared for 48hours stalling any process to prepare the activists for court.

The members were represented by Godfrey Nyoni and Nikiwe Ncube deployed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. The state was represented by Jeremiah Mutsindikwa and Magistrate Rosemary Dube.

Four members who were arrested were beaten upon arrest and handcuffed and dragged to Central police station.

Two out of four processions managed to arrive at the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JoMIC) office in Prosperity House along Leopold Takawira Street, Between Jason Moyo/Main Street but police swooped and viciously beat members to disperse them, arresting four members.

Members then made efforts to regroup and smaller groups marched to The Chronicle where once again police officers swooped arresting another 2. Other members were arrested at different parts of the city.