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An open letter to political parties and civic leaders from WOZA

To:

  • First Secretary and Chairman, Zanu PF – R. G. Mugabe and John Nkomo; and
  • Presidents/Chairmen of all other political parties:

Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) Presidents Tsvangirai and Mutambara, PF ZAPU, ZAPU 2000, Zanu Ndonga, UPM, UPP, PUMA, DP, Zimbabwe Peoples Democratic Party, Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance; and

  • Leaders of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civic Movements.

Your Excellency, Honorable Members of Parliament, Senators, Chiefs, Mayors, Councilors, Comrades and Friends,As we write this open letter, Zimbabweans are living in a state of fear and uncertainty. They suffer discrimination in all its forms and are unable to earn a living. Levels of poverty are high; unemployment is at 82% and inflation at four figures. Non-existent service delivery also makes life difficult. Access to education, housing and other basic needs is now only for the rich. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has created thousands of orphans and child-headed households, is a social catastrophe compounded by a failed healthcare system and little or no access to ARVs. Further loss of valuable human resources is happening due to people leaving the country in large numbers. People have been unsuccessful at holding their government accountable due to a raft of repressive laws and shrinking freedom of expression/media space. Corruption at all levels of government and the politicisation of all aspects of society has led to chaos and disorganization in every sector.

Women and men of WOZA have initiated a non-violent campaign with the aim of mobilising Zimbabweans to demand social justice from their leaders. The time has come to put the past behind us and start building a better tomorrow. We plan to hold existing leaders accountable and mobilise people to demand leaders who will deliver all aspects of social justice and a genuinely people-driven constitution.

This resolution was made after an eleven-month, nationwide consultation process. During 2006, over 284 meetings, consulting almost 10,000 rural and urban people on social justice were conducted. The people spoke clearly about what they want in a new Zimbabwe and their contributions are contained in the People’s Charter attached below.

Please open up your heart and read it sincerely knowing that it contains the dreams and desires of a heartbroken nation. We are looking to ALL leaders to provide a public reply and endorsement of the People’s Charter and would be happy to have this by Valentine’s Day on 14th February 2007.

WOZA looks forward to working hand in hand with any political or civic leaders who have publicly endorsed the People’s Charter to deliver social justice and honour the wishes of the Zimbabwean people.

Thirteen arrested on WOZA tenth anniversary

WOZA leader Jenni Williams was arrested this afternoon in front of the JOMIC offices in Bulawayo while commemorating the 10th anniversary of WOZA.

WOZA had arranged a meeting with JOMIC in order to request them to act urgently according to their mandate to ensure the implementation of the GPA. Several complaints of abuse of rights by the ZRP had been made by WOZA to JOMIC, but the abuse had not stopped. The WOZA leaders, Williams and Mahlangu met with JOMIC to raise this issue and to present to them letters to be transmitted to the GPA principals to draw their attention to the same complaints.

Meanwhile WOZA members demonstrated outside the building where the meeting took place, in support of the leadership and in commemoration of ten years of WOZA’s activities in defending human rights and promoting social justice. As Williams and Mahlangu emerged from the meeting, Williams was arrested by riot police who were assaulting demonstrators as well as members of the public. All of this action took place in front of the disbelieving members of the JOMIC delegation, who had asked during the meeting to be provided with concrete proof of the activities of the police.

Along with Williams, seven other WOZA women and five bystanders were also arrested; one of the bystanders is a pregnant woman and another is a female minor. All are currently at Bulawayo Central Police Station. A lawyer representing them has been allowed access and was told by Chief Inspector Mandere that the police were in a meeting trying to decide what charges to lay.

According to a ruling by the Supreme Court handed down in 2010, they can not be charged under section 37(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Law(Codification and Reform) Act as long as the demonstration was peaceful and did not cause a threat or danger to the public. The Supreme Court at that time declared that the constitution protects the right of the public to freedom of expression and assembly and yet the police have clearly defied the order of the highest court in the land and violated these rights today when they broke up a peaceful demonstration and assaulted and arrested some of the participants. It was this very type of violation that was the source of the complaint to JOMIC and to the GPA principals.

We believe that JOMIC now has their evidence and expect them to take urgent action to correct the situation. The ZRP needs to be instructed in no uncertain terms by all the principals to desist from breaking the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court. And we do not expect that any prosecutor can take forward any charge that might be devised.

Court drama and incarceration of Williams

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared before Magistrate Godwin Sengweni on Monday 12 March 2012. Their appearance was for continuation of Trial. A review process had been submitted to the High Court and is scheduled to be heard on 19 March 2012 before Judge Cheda Senior.

Advocate Perpetua Dube appearing with Godfrey Nyoni made submissions producing evidence of the set down date. They also presented a Doctors certificate in respect to the health of first accused Jennifer Williams and proof of the purchase of medication causing drowsiness. The Defence requested a postponement until the High Court application has been finalised. Prosecutor Goodluck Katenaire vehemently opposed the application insisting Williams was faking illness to stall the proceedings and that she should take the defence stand.  He went onto to complain that ‘these are the people who say justice delayed is justice denied’.  He made accusations that the Doctors certificate and prescription were fake.

Advocate Dube attempted to argue the matter further with a quote; ‘Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done’. But with those wise words and a 45minute adjournment Magistrate Sengweni returned to deliver a shocking ruling. He narrated how Williams could not walk unaided and had to be helped in and out of the dock, that she was obviously unable to pay attention to proceedings. He then referred to the court as a ‘human court’ and ordered that she be sent to prison ‘to save her life and dignity’ and be seen by a prison doctor.  He then remanded both accused persons to reappear before him on 15 March.

Scores of WOZA members attending the court in solidarity verbalised their shock. The court had to adjourn so as to clear the courtroom. A further delay was caused by the search for female prison guards to help Williams out of the dock and down the 4 flight of stairs into the prison holding cells. Riot Police were also summoned to remove the upset WOZA members from the pavement surrounding the Court.

This ‘security threat’ apparently caused by peaceful human rights defenders resulted in the prison guards removing Williams off the court property to the downtown prison complex until she could be transported the 30 kilometres to Mlondolozi prison complex.

Meanwhile noting that Williams did not have her handbag with medication, Mahlangu spent 3 hours trying to locate Williams. Prison officers refused to divulge her whereabouts thereby withholding her access to medication till late the following afternoon.

Fortunately the High Court ruled that the trial proceedings must be stopped; Williams original bail conditions restored and that rescued the situation. Williams won her freedom after 2 days and one night in Mlondolozi prison, most of that time without her medication or food and sleeping on dirty prison blankets in an overcrowded cell with 16 other inmates. Despite the nightmare experience WOZA reports that resilient Williams is recovering at home. She was able with the help of Magodonga Mahlangu to walk into the dock in court today 15 March and was remanded to 22nd March 2012.

The High Court matter is in open court on 19 March 2012 and will deal with the review of the refusal by Magistrate Godwin Sengweni to discharge the activists for the kidnap and theft charge at the close of the state case.
for background visit http://wozazimbabwe.org/?p=1158

Arrests:2 members missing; 7 denied breakfast

Arrests but 2 women cannot be located at any police station, 7 denied breakfast

NINE Bulawayo members were arrested the night of 2nd July 2012 and are being held in custody at 3 different police stations. They were arrested in 2 separate incidents. This is part of the occupy and demand the draft constitution campaign that WOZA have been conducting since May 2012.

The seven who are women arrested at 10pm spent the night at Western Commonage police station but this morning they were loaded up into a police van at 9am.  It seems the police officers have taken them to where the messages have been painted in the road and are taking photographs.  They are Vigilant Lunga, Violet Dube, Theresa Phiri, Catherine Dhliwayo, Eunice Moyo, Mpikelelo Moyo and Sibongile Lumbile.  They were denied food this morning so have not eaten since last evening.

Some of the painted messages read: Fire Chihuri (the partisan police commissioner); devolution for development; we want separation of powers and we want education.

The two members arrested in Matshobana at 7pm are Miriam Ngcebetsha and Ottilia Dube. Their whereabouts are not known and the support team is going door to door at every police station looking for them.

Trial of Williams and Mahlangu continues

WOZA leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared in Magistrates Tredgold Regional Court A on trial facing Kidnapping and Theft charges on 19 and 20 December. The matter was before Magistrate Goodluck Sangweni with Prosecutor is Mr Goodwill Katenaire and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Kossam Ncube defending the two accused. The Trial continues on 21 December at 9am.

The Trial had been postponed from 12 December 2011 as the key witness Emma Mabhena did not come to court. Once again on 19 December she was not in court so the trial began with 2nd witness Bokani Nleya.

After the state case was presented, the defence attorney cross examined the witness Bokani Nleya. She made three different statements than those recorded by the police. When challenged that she was contradicting her own signed statement. In her evidence she has said Nolwandle Simunyu had searched with Jennifer Williams but in her statement it alleged that Magodonga Mahlangu had accompanied Williams. When pressed, she said that the Police officer recording the statement had altered the name in her statement. She also said that the police officer had not asked her the value of the torch but just inserted 300 South African Rand. She said the torch was bought for 40 Rand and she was to sell it for USD 10.

Day two began with 75year old Emma Mabhena taking the witness stand. She is the main state witness and is said to have been kidnapped by Williams and Mahlangu. Upon cross examination she stated emphatically that she was never physically forced into the vehicle and that none of the accused persons ever threatened her or kept her against her will in the vehicle. Her signed statement reads   – “the other lady who was in this vehicle opened the rear passenger door and pulled me inside the vehicle while this slim lady pushed me from outside.” She continued “The lady with light complexion warned me that if I wanted peace I should keep quiet and just direct them to where my grandson’s girlfriend was staying”.

Although the statement was signed by Emma Mabena in her verbal evidence in court she refuted this part and other parts of her statement that implied kidnapping or use of force by any of the accused. As with state witness, Bokani Nleya, Emma Mabhena disassociated herself with most of the statement penned in her named by police officers.

The final state witness took the stand and lead evidence but will be cross examined at 9am 21 December 2011.

Woza Moya – siNdebele edition – May 2007

UKUKHULUMA NGENKULUMO
IMBONO YEWOZA/MOZA
INDLELA EZILITSHUMI EZINGALETHA IZIMBABWE ENTSHA

IWOZA ilokhu ibala njalo isizwa ngenkulumo okumele zibe khona ifuna ukutsho imbono yayo.

Okokuqala sifuna ukwazi inhloso kamongameli Thabo Mbeki lo mongameli Kikwete labafowethu beSADC ngenkulumo lezo. Bengabe bejonge ukuletha uhulumende omutsha kungela nguquko kwezombangazwe, kwezomnotho, lenhlalakahle kazulu? Kumbe inhloso yabo ngeqotho? Ukuze kucace ukuthi bangomlamulankunzi abaqotho kumele babone ukuthi uhulumende okhona uzasekela njalo avumele ukuphendlwa kwendlela yenguquko engangeneli njalo atshiye umbuso ukuze kube lenguquko eqotho. Sizaqhubeka sibakhuthaza ukuze benze lokhu njalo sizaphendla indlela ezenza izizalwane zeZimbabwe zikholise ukulingana lokuzotha eZimbabwe.

Umlandu kazulu weZimbabwe ngowani, ngoba yithi esithwele ubunzima njalo sithola kunzima ukuthi siphile?
Umlandu wethu ungavezwa ngalindlela. Siyazi ukuthi iziko lingaphi njalo ukuthi kulembiza ebilayo. Asibuzwanga ukuthi kuzaphekwani njalo ngubani ozakudla sekuphakululiwe. Silokhu simelele ukubizelwa etafuleni yokudlela silokhu sitheza inkuni sizaziletha eziko ukuze abapheki bazibone bakhwezele ngazo. Nxa umlilo usucitsha inkuni zethu zizasetshenziswa ukukhwezela lokubasela ukuze imbiza ibelokhu ixhwatha. Nxa sekuphekiwe sizafuna indawo etafuleni ukuze lathi sidle okuphekwe zinkuni zethu. Kungaphekwa imboza sizakwala ukudla njalo sicele indlela yokupheka engcono. Sithanda ukulikhumbuza ukuthi omama bayingcitshi ekuphekeni.

Singaqhubekela phambili sisithi omlamulankunzi labezombangazwe kumele bapheke ngendlela ezilandelayo ukuze ukudla kwabo kubemnandi njalo kukholiswe ngamaZimbabwe onke:

1. Udlakela lwendlela zonke kumele luphele, ukuze kube lendlela eziletha inguquko, ezizaqala indlela yokuxolisa.
2. Kumele kube lomhlangano omkhulu ozakwenziwa kunxuswe abalandelayo, wonke amabandla ezombangazwe zonke inhlanganiso ezizimele zodwa, abezenkolo, izisebenzi osomabhizimusi, ulutsha labomama, bonke behlangana ngokulingana. Injongo yabo ingeyokuthi kubelenguquko ezaletha uhulumende owesikhathi esithize njalo babeke lendlela yokubhala isisekelo selizwe esitsha. Uhulumende owesikhathi esithize kumele enze okulandelayo:
3. Athathe amandla ombuso esule imthetho encindezela ilungelo lokukhuluma santando lelokubuthana enjengePOSA leAIPPA. Sifuna kuphele ukusetshenziswa komthetho kukhethwa.
4. Kumele bahluzisise izisebenzi zikahulumende, abagcina umthetho, labezomthethwandaba ukuthi indlela abasebenza ngayo kabasekeli uhlangothi. Abephuli bomthetho kumele bafundiswe kutsha imisebenzi yabo, bayehlanza izigaba kumbe bajeziswe. Uhlangothi olukhangele ngezokugcinwa komthetho (Law and Order) lwamapholisa labatsha abafundiswa udlakela kufanele bachithizwe njalo bafundiswe ukubalobuntu. Ibutho lihlale ezinkambeni lifundiswa umsebenzi walo.
5. Kumele sivusele ubudlelwano lamanye amazwe sijonge ukuthuthukisa umnotho wethu lokudala imisebenzi.
6. Kumele kubelezindlela zokuhluza ngokwabiwa komhlabathi okulinganayo njalo ubengumniniyo sikhuthaza indlela zokuthola ukudla.
7. Kumele siqale izindlela zokubhala isisekelo selizwe esibalulekileyo lendlela ezigoqela uhlelo lwenguquko elungileyo kudingwe imbono yamaZimbabwe wonke alapha lasemazweni.
8. Impumela yembono yesisekelo selizwe lezinqumo zikahulumende owesikhathi esithize kubelokhetho oluzaqhutshwa yiSADC.
9. Silungisele ukhetho, ukuguqula uhlangothi olubona ngokhetho silungise imithetho yokhetho emitsha sikhethe abaqhubi bokhetho abazimele bodwa, sikhethe iqula elibona ngemngcele lilungise amabhuku okuvotisa njalo balungiselele ukhetho, siyabe sesivalelisa uTobaiwa Mudede lendlela zakhe sobuqili.
10. Kuqiniseke ukuthi ukhetho luzaqhutshwa ngaphansi kwezinqumo zeSADC njalo lenhlanganiso zomhlaba wonke jikelele lezeAfrica kulabameli bomhlaba wonke leZimbabwe. Uhulumende owesikhathi esithize uzanikeza umbuso kubanqobi bokhetho.

“Kangingakhulekeli ukuthi ngivikelwe ezingozini kodwa ngikhulekela ukuthi ngibelesibindi sokumelana lengozi. Kangingaceli ukuthi ngingezwa ubuhlungu kodwa ngicela inhliziyo yokuthi nginqobe ubuhlungu.” Rabindranath Tagore (Imbongi yeIndia)
Izinqumo Ngokuthula
* Asisoze silimaze muntu njalo asisoze siphindisele udlakela
* Sizaba lokuthembeka siphathe wonke umuntu ngenhlonipho ikakhulukazi abezomthetho
* Sizaveza imizwa yethu kodwa asisoze sigcine inzondo
* Sizabalokunakekela abantu abaduze lathi sinika uncedo oludingakalayo.
* Njengabagcini bokuthula sizavikela abanye ekuthukweni ledlakeleni.
* Ngesikhathi sokutshengisela asisoze sigijime kumbe senze izenzo ezethusa abanye
* Singabona umtshengiseli esethusela abanye sizangenela sehlise umumo. Nxa abatshengiseli bangaba lodlakela, njalo sehluleke ukubakhuza sizahlukana labo.
* Asisoze sebe kumbe sibhidlize impahla
* Asisoze sithwale ingqe yisiphi isikhali
* Asisoze sithwale kumbe sinathe utshwala kumbe imithi edakayo ngaphandle kweyokwelapha.
* Sizagcina isivumelwano esisenze labanye abatshengiseli nxa kungaba lokungavumelani sizanyomuka ngokuthula.
* Sizavuma umlandu wokungabi lodlakela asisoze siqambe amanga ukuze sibalekele impumela edalwe yizenzo zethu.

Uma uvumelana lesinqumo sokusebeza ngokuthula njalo ufuna ukubalilunga leWOZA thumela incwadi zakho kukheli elithi P. O. Box FM 701, Famona, Bulawayo. Utsho ukuthi ungubani njalo kungani ufuna ukuba iliunga leWOZA. Ungabhala ngolimi oluzwisisayo, uthumele ku vulophu elekheli yakho lesitampa, ukuze sanelise ukukuphathi sela isibopho sabomama. Ungaze ubhalele usithumele sizakuthumezela igwaliba lakho elokuba lilunga encwadini yakho eyesibili layo kumele ibelekheli lakho lesitampa.

Get used to a free Zimbabwe where we can speak out without fear, tune in to…
SW Radio Africa is Zimbabwe’s independent voice, broadcasting on shortwave 4880kHz between 7 – 9 pm. For all the news you need to know.
VOA Studio 7: Evenings from 7 pm to 8 pm on 909 AM, and at 4930, 11975 and 17895 kHz shortwave. Studio Seven in the Morning broadcasts for a half hour Monday to Friday beginning at 5:30 am on 909 AM and at 4930 and 6080 kHz shortwave.

WOZA turns 10 – Shosholoza for Love!

WOZA was formed in 2002 by two Bulawayo women – the late Sheba Dube and Jennifer Williams. WOZA are commemorating 10 years of work – defending women and defending the rights of all Zimbabweans.  Our mandate is to:
o    To mobilise Zimbabweans, and in particular women, to demand social justice on a non-partisan basis, and to participate in all civic processes.
o    Carry out civic education programmes to fill the gap in knowledge on rights and democratic practice.
o    Facilitate community discussion forums to help women’s voices to be heard by key decision makers.
o    Promote the role of women in policy making at the local level.
o    Conduct  non violent direct action campaigns that  influence public opinion and pressure for leaders to be accountable and deliver all aspects of social justice
o              To pressurise for a democratic  constitution that meets the peoples wishes

The first 10 years has been a hard decade for us. We pay tribute to the members who helped us to reach our 10th birthday and salute their bravery.  As WOZA members march this Valentine’s Day we pledge that we will strengthen our campaigns. We will increase our defense of human rights and will work with Zimbabweans to build democracy and demand development. But our first objective of 2012 is to demand a new Constitution that reflects the views and the will of citizens!

Our members send this message to Zimbabweans:
I Love what I do
I Do Democracy
I Do Development
I Defend Human Rights
I Do it in the name of love
I Do it for the love of Zimbabwe
WOZA let’s Do it together
Woza Zimbabwe Woza
Lets Shosholoza for love!

The environment under which we work is not friendly to human rights defenders:
a) Our members continue to be arrested, tortured and persecuted by police officers. Two leaders are even facing fabricated criminal charges of kidnapping and Theft. Instead of the police keeping the peace they are the ones who disturb our peace!
b) Zimbabwe’s political principals are still playing around with outstanding issues and the positions they have agreed to as regards the constitution and elections roadmap are not being implemented.
c) The Principals have denounced violence but instead we see the increased deployment of army and militia and police continue to arrest people arbitrarily.
d)  Spokesperson of the South African Mediator President Jacob Zuma, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, says all the right words but nothing is implemented in Zimbabwe. She said, “the role of the Facilitation Team in Zimbabwe is ‘to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe – who deserve better – go for genuinely free elections to elect the leaders they want without any fear of violence.” SADC keep talking about the need to stop violence and promote peace but are not doing anything on the ground to implement peace.
e) The economy is beginning to crash because there are no meaningful economic reforms. Jobs are scarce but police and Zimra loot from informal traders trying to survive. Political heavyweights and the army divert the profits from diamonds to their own personal and political gain.

Our Valentine’s Day demands to the principals in the Inclusive Government:
1. We urgently need a new, democratic constitution accompanied by critical electoral reforms such as an updated and accurate voters’ roll, guarantees for media freedoms, equal access by all political parties to state-controlled media during elections and promotion of gender equality. Urgent legislative reforms should include repealing or amending all legislation that hinders free political activity.
2. All soldiers currently deployed across the country must be returned and confined to their barracks and all service chiefs must issue a public statement committing themselves to restricting their activities to their constitutional mandate and to totally separate themselves from politics and from interference in political and electoral affairs.
3. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and its Secretariat Staff, charged with elections management, must be completely demilitarized, independent, professional, adequately resourced with direct technical support from SADC and the AU to enable it to impartially discharge its mandate.
4. Before Zimbabwe can set a date for elections, the AU and SADC must independently examine and certify that the environment is conducive to holding non-violent, free and fair elections. The elections must be robustly monitored and observed by local, regional and international groups who should have unfettered access to all parts of the country.
5. Together with SADC and the UN, the AU should deploy peace-keeping monitors to Zimbabwe at least three months ahead of elections to prevent state-sponsored violence and intimidation and to guarantee peaceful transfer of power to the eventual winner of the elections. The peace-keeping monitors should remain on the ground a further three months after elections have been held.

Our Valentine’s Day demands to the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee:
1. Stop ignoring your mandate as outlined clearly in the Global Political Agreement. Start being an effective watchdog for the GPA.
2. Stop sitting on our letters of complaint regarding ill-treatment of our members by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Investigate urgently and provide us with feedback.

Our Valentine’s Day demands to the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC): Stop delaying the release of our draft constitution and pay attention to our minimum standards as follows:
1. The principle that all legal and political authority of the state derives from the people. That is what Democracy is all about.
2. Universal adult suffrage, a multi party system of democratic government and free, fair and regular elections to ensure accountability, openness and justice.
3. The inherent dignity and worth of each human being and the equal status of all human beings’ right to life. We demand gender sensitivity, promotion of affirmative action to correct past injustices and promote women’s participation in all spheres of life.
4. The devolution of government functions and powers to the people at provincial and appropriate local levels.
5. The right to state-funded education from preschool to the end of primary education and affordable secondary and tertiary education.
6. Independent courts and equality before the law and the right to full protection and benefit from the law.
7. Right to affordable and decent basic living needs (shelter, water, food and health facilities.)
8. Respect for fundamental human rights- we demand a Bill of rights that shall be guaranteed and fully protected (Justiciable).
9. Transparency and accountability on Public Finance.
10. Limitation of presidential powers, 2 terms of no more than 5years each, and an age limit of 75years for the President.
11. No to arbitrarily deprivation of citizenship

WOZA let’s Do it together – Woza Zimbabwe Woza – Lets Shosholoza for love!

Appearances in Court and 1 arrest

On Thursday 22 March 2012, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared before Magistrate Godwin Sengweni facing Kidnap and Theft charges. Defence lawyer Kossam Ncube produced a High Court order to ‘stay all criminal proceedings’ in Regional Court A and applied for the two activists to be removed off remand appearances in Court pending the outcome of the Review of the Magistrates decision to refuse to discharge Williams and Mahlangu at close of state case.

As has now become a bad habit the state opposed the application and Magistrate Sengweni remanded to activist to 26 April 2012 when he will
give a ruling on if they are to be removed off remand.

On Friday 23 March 2012 Jennifer Williams and 9 other members arrested on 7 February 2012 in Bulawayo and charged with ‘Criminal Nuisance’ appeared in court 1. Their lawyer Lizwe Jamela, Chief Law officer of ZLHR, submitted an application to take a challenge to the Supreme Court. The Prosecutor and Magistrate will respond on 27 April 2012.

This Supreme Court application is in response to the State insistence on charging the activists with peaceful protest related laws when
there is a landmark ruling won by Williams and Mahlangu for their right to protest to be unhindered. This landmark ruling has been
successfully used by scores of activists but the Williams and Mahlangu cannot seem to enjoy it as a legal precedent.

On the 22nd March, Riot Police surrounded the Tredgold Magistrates court monitoring closely the movement of WOZA leaders and members.
Seven police officers chased anyone standing close to the activists so as to isolate them and scrutinise their movement. They even chased
away a mother breastfeeding her baby on the pavement outside the court.

When the 2 members walked across the road to meet another member, 2 Riot police followed them and searched them. One member was found with a WOZA branded scarf – standing up for my rights – which was immediately judged to be seditious and she was surrounded by 4
officers who held onto her clothing and marched her for one city block until a back up vehicle with a truck load of Riot Police arrived to
pick her up and took her to Bulawayo Central police station. She was advised that she would be detained but two minutes later Mr. Jamela of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) arrived the Law and Order plain clothed police officers indicated that she was not under
arrested but was merely picked up for profiling (personal details and affiliations). She was questioned about a ‘proposed’ demonstration
later that day. However WOZA was not planning a protest so she replied that she knew of no such demonstration only Court appearances. She was  then released.

WOZA wish to warn the Police that the public outcry surrounding the searching and arrest our young member should send a strong message
that members of the public are getting irritated with the constant presence of Riot Police in the street conducting arbitrary searches
and chasing people standing in groups away from the city centre. Zimbabweans patience with the military-style policing is wearing thin.

WOZA application to magistrates court to go to Supreme Court 23march2012

Members to spent second night in custody

All nine members arrested in Bulawayo on Monday night, including the missing two were located at Bulawayo Central police station. On 3rd July they were formally charged with Criminal Nuisance Section 46 schedule 2a (vi) any person dislodges or disfigures any property and were expected to be taken to court on 4th July but this did not happen so they will spend the second night in custody.

Indications are that the Police Law and Order department have refused to deal with the case and have referred it to the Homicide Department.  Officers of the Homicide Department visited the home of a member who lives near Western Commonage police station demanding that she attend the Homicide offices in town by 9am on Thursday 5th July 2012.

Sibongile Lumbile, one of the arrested members was last night rushed into hospital as she became unwell due to the horrific conditions in Bulawayo Central police cells. She was having breathing problems and was very cold as there are no blankets and it is mid-winter.

In a separate incident at 11pm on Tuesday 3 July 2012 four police officers arrived at the home of a member Shingirai Mupani who lives in Pumula suburb in Bulawayo. They demanded that she accompany them telling her that they only wanted her to take them to the homes of Williams and Mahlangu to arrest them for the graffiti painting spree in Bulawayo.  She refused to accompany them. One of those police officers is ‘Brian’. He was responsible for beating members with thorny trigs in a sit in protest 2 weeks ago.   It seems the police officers objected to one of the messages painted calling for the firing of the police commissioner Augustine Chihuri.

On Saturday 30 June 2012, the dogs of Magodonga Mahlangu were poisoned. She rushed them for urgent medical attention but could not save one of the dogs.  She has reported the matter to the police but has had to insist they open a docket.  WOZA is concerned that this was not a normal criminal incident as her home is highly secured but just vindictiveness by state security agents.