2 members held overnight in Mutare cells

Two members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) spent last night in Sakubva Police Station in Mutare. They were arrested yesterday morning during a meeting in the Mutare suburb.

A group of approximately 90 people had gathered in a bush clearing to discuss responsible behaviour when they were approached by 12 police officers. 20 members, eight men, 12 women and three babies were arrested in total and made to walk over a kilometre to Sakubva Police Station. During the march to the police station, several of the members were handcuffed.

At the police station, the group was denied access to their lawyer and also denied food. Some members were beaten. Police informed the group that as most were not carrying their national identification cards, they had broken the law and should pay fines. Without access to legal counsel to advise that this was inaccurate, most members believed they had no other option than to pay the fines and were released at 7pm.

The two that remain in custody refused to pay fines. It is expected that they will be charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and it is hoped that they will be taken to court this morning. There are fears that they may be kept in over the weekend however.