WOZA women win court case (19-06-07)

THE militant Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has won a court application to have their case referred to the Supreme Court where they are challenging the constitutionality of the section of the law that the police are using to harass demonstrators.

Bulawayo magistrate, Rose

Sibanda, today (Tuesday) granted the order and referred the matter to the Supreme Court for a determination on the constitutionality of Sections of the Act

WOZA leaders, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlonga are challenging sections under which they are charged with through their lawyer, Kossam Ncube.

They are accused of breaking sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to the Supreme Court following a foiled demonstration last month.

In the court application their lawyer said Section 37 and 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, that Williams and Magodonga, were being charged with was vague and was susceptible to wide interpretation.

“Section 37 (i)(a)(i) of the Code is couched in such wide and broad terms that make it extremely difficult if not impossible to comprehend the demarcation of the offence,” the court papers read.

Woza argued that sections of the act had an effect on all gatherings and implied that all gatherings whether political or social fell within the section.

“It is open to abuse and potentially prohibits all forms of public gatherings or processions, in the circumstances, it thus violates the right to freedom of assembly and association, right to freedom of expression and right to freedom of movement,” Woza argued in the court papers.

Williams and Mahlangu, according to court records, were part of a group of women who demonstrated outside the Bulawayo central police station early this month and demanded the unconditional release of their colleagues who had been arrested for staging an ‘illegal’ demonstration- CAJ News.

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