Two WOZA members released into lawyer’s custody

The two WOZA members, Trust Moyo and Cynthia Ncube, who have spent the last
two nights in police custody, were released into their lawyer's custody at
noon today.

They had been taken to court earlier this morning charged with

‘distributing materials likely to cause a breach of the peace’, Section 37

1(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. The court

documentation was not in order however and they were returned to Bulawayo

Central Police Station.

They returned to court late morning where they were released into their

lawyer’s custody. They are expected to report back to the police station

tomorrow morning at 8am to see what else they could be charged with.

Both are in good spirits after their ordeal.

Trust had been arrested after the second demonstration by a plain clothed

police officer who claimed to have seen him in the original protest.

Surrounded by police officers so that he couldn’t be seen, he was driven

into the bush and around the streets in an attempt to disorient him. He was

then taken to the private residence of a senior-ranking police officer

(wearing three stars on his shoulder) in Khumalo, a suburb of Bulawayo. This

officer ordered he be released into the surrounding bushy area. The

arresting officers argued amongst themselves that they could not do this

however as people knew he had been taken. Trust, as he had been trained to

do in an abduction scenario, had made a commotion when he was being

arrested, shouting that he would die for WOZA if necessary. They then

resolved to take him to Bulawayo Central where riot police tried to force

him to eat the WOZA banner that he had been arrested with. When he refused

they began to beat him  and when he fell to the ground, continued to kick

him with their booted feet before finally pouring a bucket of cold water

over him.

Cynthia had been arrested outside butchery after the second demonstration by

a police officer that she had given a Woza Moya newsletter. She was taken to

the police post in Lobengula Street Mall and questioned as to why WOZA was

demanding bread and roses. A female police officer slapped her across the

face several times, accusing WOZA of being the reason that they are so badly

paid but claimed that now that they had arrested her they had ‘hit the

jackpot’. Officers also threatened to dump her at Chipangali (a wildlife

orphanage just outside of Bulawayo) so that the lions could eat her. She was

later walked to Bulawayo Central, being pushed and shoved all the way.

More members have continued to receive medical treatment for injuries they

sustained on Monday, including a young man who had been hit across the head

with a baton stick and a woman that had to receive three stitches on her leg

after being hit with a baton stick.

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