In the ongoing climate of police brutality in Zimbabwe today, WOZA members continue to be on the receiving end of police violence.
Two members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were taken from their homes in Warren Park, Harare, late on Monday night by police. Three truckloads of police took the mother and daughter from their home at gunpoint, blindfolded them and took them into an unknown destination in the bush. There they were questioned about WOZA and assaulted with weapons and fists.
After several hours of assault and questioning, the two women convinced their attackers that they did not know anything and they were dumped in the bush. They later managed to get a lift back into Harare where they raised the alert. The women are currently receiving medical attention for their injuries.
In a separate incident, another WOZA member in Gweru was picked up by police on Friday and taken to Gweru Central where she was interrogated for several hours – police insisting that WOZA started the current state of emergency with their demonstration in Gweru on 5th March. They searched her house illegally (for fertilizer and petrol) and confiscated her radio. She had been badly beaten in custody following that demonstration and police continued to threaten her – stating that they would be back for her and they would make sure that she never returned to Gweru.
The 35 members arrested in Gweru following the launch of the Peopleâ€™s Charter in the first week of March will appear in remand court on 21st and 22nd March.