Police in violent disruption of WOZA Valentine’s Day demo

The Zimbabwe Republic Police violently disrupted a tenth anniversary demonstration by human rights group Woman of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) in Harare yesterday.


In an interview with The Zimbabwean while scurrying for cover from police wielding button sticks Jenni Wiliams the fiery National Coordinator of WOZA said the ZRP does not know its mandate.

“They have persecuted us for the past ten years beating and jailing human rights activist but we are not intimidated.

“This parliament here is our and when democracy finally comes home there is need to re-educate our police force so it reflects and is aware of what the people want,” Williams said

She said WOZA are celebrating ten years of struggle and nothing has changed in the manner in which the ZRP views demonstrations in Zimbabwe.

Magodonga Mahlangu WOZA Programs Coordinator called on South African President Jacob Zuma and specifically his chief advisor Lindiwe Zulu to urgently attend to the issues of violence in Zimbabwe.

“As you can see the police are here in full force and disrupting our peaceful demonstration, we have not done anything illegal.

“We are calling upon Lindiwe Zulu to impress upon the partners in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to remember that they appended their signatures to the agreement and undertook to uphold its tenets.

“Article 18 of the GPA is specific on the need to respect human and people’s rights and that includes the right to demonstrate and assemble,” Mahlangu said.

Meanwhile freelance photojournalist journalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere was snatched by state security agents while taking pictures of the demonstration.

Manyere is no stranger to being arrested in as he was arrested in December 2008 and held incommunicado for 11 days amid allegations of torture and jailed at Chikurubi Maximum prison for almost half a year.

Harare police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau refused to comment on the issue.

“Normally I do not give comments to freelance journalists before I see them so I would need t see you and verify you press card first,” Inspector Sabau said.

Over two hundred women marched to parliament brandishing placards denouncing the police and calling on Zimbabweans to send tough love to their leaders.

WOZA has since it came into the political picture ten years ago had running battles with the police, its members have been in and out of jail while the duo of Jenni Williams and Mahlangu have had broken limbs and bruises after run inns with police.

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