By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
14 February 2014
About 200 police officers Friday blocked members of Women in Zimbabwe Arise from petitioning Bulawayo resident minister, Eunice Sandi Moyo.
Over 1,000 WOZA members marched through the streets to the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex, as part of the pressure group’s annual peaceful Valentine’s Day demos. A statement said WOZA is demanding free primary education for all vulnerable and under privileged children by the end of 2014.
SW Radio Africa heard that chanting WOZA members found the entrance to the government complex blocked by police details who were clad in full riot gear. WOZA spokesperson Magodonga Mahlangu said the police were all over the city center, where they watched vigilantly as members of the pressure group gathered and marched to Mhlahlandlela.
‘As early as 8am the police were all over the city center. They were in every street corner and we had to reduce our processions from 11 to only three,’ said Mahlangu.
She said WOZA members were forced to disperse after forty five minutes. She said although the police did not assault or arrest any of their members, they violated their right to petition Moyo.
This development comes after police in Harare assaulted WOZA members as they left Parliament after submitting a petition Thursday. The police accused the marchers of demonstrating without permission.
WOZA is demanding full implementation of the new constitution by year end, and in a statement said: ‘We were expecting that by now the new constitution would already be activated and fully implemented and new laws would be helping us to enjoy the fruits. This constitution is our nation’s harvest. Why can’t Parliament and The Senate activate it so we can enjoy it together?’