News update – 3pm:
The 22 women arrested in Pumula today have been released without being charged. As lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights were unavailable to attend to the matter, WOZA National Coordinator, Jenni Williams, and Magodonga Mahlangu attended the police station and met with the Officer in Charge, Assistant Inspector Chimani. He advised that the members had already been released and apologised for arresting them, saying that the officers concerned did not realise that they were WOZA members.
WOZA would like to acknowledge the professionalism of Assistant Inspector Chimani but call on him and other police officers to stop the arbitrary arrest of Zimbabweans.
At 11 am today, 22 women in a private home were arrested in Pumula, a suburb of Bulawayo. They are currently being held at Pumula Police Station. Most of the arrested are members of WOZA who were discussing the constitutional reform process. As lawyers were unable to respond, WOZA National Coordinator, Jenni Williams called the Officer in Charge at Pumula, Assistant Inspector Chimani, and asked him why the members had been arrested. He professed no knowledge of the situation.
The meeting was a private meeting of members exempt under all public order laws. Please call Inspector Chimani on + 263 9 422907 or 422898 and ask him to stop harassing WOZA members. Also advise him that there is an ongoing constitutional reform process countrywide and that they should participate and allow others to participate freely.