Eight members of WOZA were arrested in Pumula this morning whilst putting up posters in the high-density suburb. The group of women were putting up posters encouraging Zimbabweans to stand up for their child and vote in next week’s elections. They were taken to Pumula Police Station and questioned for 30 minutes before being released without charge.
Questions included why they were wearing t-shirts telling people to vote (they were wearing Crisis Coalition t-shirts which also urge people to vote on 29 March) and what Stand Up for Your Child means. They were finally told to stop encouraging people to vote – to leave that to the politicians – and released.
With one week left before the election, the arbitrary arrest of citizens who were not campaigning for any political party but merely exhorting people to exercise their democratic right to vote is yet another indication that next week’s polls are being held in an environment that is not free or fair. Nonetheless, WOZA continues to encourage Zimbabweans to be ready to stand up and be counted on 29 March – make your choice, cast your vote, register your protest.
To see a copy of the poster that the women were putting up when they were arrested, click here: stand-up-poster-3.pdf