WOZA Valentine’s Day protestors beaten & arrested in Bulawayo

Jenny Williams after her beating by police on Wednesday

By Violet Gonda
14 February 2013

Scores of activists from the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were beaten and arrested during a demonstration in Bulawayo on Thursday, a day after the same group was assaulted by police during anti-constitution protests in Harare.

Group coordinator Jenni Williams told SW Radio Africa that a group of about 180 people were camped outside Bulawayo police station demanding the release of some of their activists who had been arrested.

She said: “We were beaten, 30 to 40 of us at Southampton Building and forced to go to the police station. When we were now seated in Bulawayo Central they called the riot police to beat us to make us leave the police station, saying we are not wanted there.

“So 180 of us are now outside the police station but about 12 are in police custody. We are not sure how many exactly.”

Williams said all those who are in police custody are the male members of WOZA.

The pressure group said they were demonstrating on ‘this day of love’ to demand a response from the police to formal complaints about police beatings and brutality.

Bulawayo police refused to comment on the alleged police brutality.

This is the 11th year that WOZA has held protests on Valentine’s Day.

In Harare Wednesday the group distributed fliers protesting against the draft constitution that is set to be put before a referendum on March 16th.

Some of the fliers distributed by the pressure group read: “The final draft constitution is as a result of negotiations behind closed doors and a deal that suits the principals and the political parties in the inclusive government.”

“Therefore this draft may not survive the test of time because it was written for a current political climate and not for the future generation. A constitution is supposed to be written by the people because they should determine how they want to be governed. It is their role to give the rule to the rulers!”

3 Responsesto “WOZA Valentine’s Day protestors beaten & arrested in Bulawayo”

  1. Chimbwidos Warvet says:

    Nguva yataiurayiwa nebabhunu a Ian Smith mbuya iyi yaivepi tichifa. Nhasi yakuda kuone yuyipi hwedu isu. Rovai munhu vakomana kana kuti ngaenda mujeri zvatakaitwa na Ian Smith. Kurera imbwa mangwana inofuma yokuruma. We were also human being when Ian Smith incarcerated us in prison for speaking out against his illegal regime gross human rights violations. Jenny William is the age of my grandmother and my question to her is where was she when the lot of us were being killed by Ian Smith for speaking out against his diabolic and ruthless regime that saw thousands of my people being killed? And now she wants to stand on a high moral ground when thousands of my people were killed while she looked on. I do not mind people protesting against what they perceive as unfairness but when my people are being led by Jenny Williams I begin to ask may questions.

    • Jock of the bushveld says:

      All I can say Chimbwido .Is that the only real casuaties where during the war.And never thru social or public activities.As Europeans we have always been a minority group.And there has always been respect between cultures.
      But unfortunately greed and power are still the evlls that govern africa.

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        But you see their claim for justice will be defeated if the MDC-T allows the likes of Jenny Williams and other former Rhodesians leading them when for all we know they have blood in their hands for killing my people. Jenny Williams is the age of my grandmother and should have protested against the illegal regime of Ian Smith that killed my people but was complicit to its evil and diabolic ways. She enjoyed life to the full while we were suffering at the hands of the Rhodesians who were voluntarily given our country by the British government at the time.
        Is it not ironic that Jenny Williams is now standing on high moral ground as a victim for human rights abuses by the very government that fought against Ian Smith to bring about majority rule to Zimbabwe.

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