WOZA Directors, Journalist detained

Women of Zimbabwe Arise Directors: Jenni Williams and Magondonga Mahlangu and a freelance journalist Tawanda Karombo were this afternoon picked up by police details during a demonstration by the organisation near parliament building in Harare.

WOZA demonstrators near parliament building.
WOZA demonstrators near parliament building.

Several protestors from WOZA ran for cover as baton stick wielding police details chased the women before they had finished their march.

The journalist, Karombo was picked up by the police while taking pictures of the WOZA demonstration while WOZA Directors were arrested soon after the protestors had dispersed and briefly detained at Harare Central Police Station.

The trio: Williams, Magondonga and Karombo were later released after the intervention of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer: Trust Maanda.

"I can confirm that only three people were taken by police details but they have since been released," said an official from ZLHR who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Efforts to get a comment from Maanda were futile as his mobile phone was not picked up.

The demonstration, was part of WOZA celebrations to mark the World Day of Peace.

"The day of Peace, celebrated the world over is a day when we will present our peaceful demands to our local and national government,"

read the WOZA statement.

The demonstration: bearing the theme 'Peace must deliver freedom and development for all' sought to advocate for the full enjoyment of genuine peace, freedom and development.

"We demand respect for the rule of law," read one of the placards by one of the protestors.

According to the WOZA petition, service delivery from the new local government is a priority area that requires immediate actioning for ordinary citizens to fully enjoy their freedom.

"The President, Robert Mugabe promised infrastructural development and we await road reconstruction and maintenance," read the petition.

"We demand an immediate and public plan of action as to how parliament is going to undertake the harmonization of laws to bring them in line with the new constitution."

The petition called on the new government to publicise and implement the affirmative action policy plan for women and the vulnerable members of society such as widows, orphans and the disabled.

The demonstration marked the beginning of the 'Mother your vote campaign'

which seeks to create a platform for ordinary citizens to hold accountable elected political leaders.

"The vote cast on July 31 must be cared and nurtured like a new baby.

This child called vote cannot be neglected the same way that this child called Zimbabwe has been neglected. The game will keep reminding the politicians that they have to be responsible and be good parents to this 'vote'," read the statement.

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