Jenni Williams released on bail


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Women of Zimbabwe Arise leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were released on bail on 3 July after spending 33 nights in jail.

They were arrested after members of WOZA and Men of Zimbabwe Arise marched in Harare to protest against increasing violence in the run-up to the presidential elections run-off.

United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee and an embassy official were not allowed to see Williams and Mahlangu while in prison because they had not been granted permission by the Zimbabwe Prison Service.

Spanish and British embassy officials were however reportedly allowed to visit the two without permission from the ZPS.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE592, WOZA ACTIVISTS RELEASED ON BAIL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE592

2008-07-03 16:19

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9545

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0592 1851619

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 031619Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3137

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2114

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2234

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0772

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1511

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1869

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2290

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4721

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1380

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 000592

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: WOZA ACTIVISTS RELEASED ON BAIL

 

REF: HARARE 479

 

1. (U) In their July 3 hearing, Women of Zimbabwe Arise!

(WOZA) activists Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were

granted bail after having spent 33 nights in jail. Williams

received Secretary Rice’s Women of Courage award for Africa

in 2007. After the judge exited the courtroom, Williams

hugged the female prison guard next to her and the WOZA

member-filled courtroom burst into applause. The trial date

is set for July 29.

 

———-

Background

———-

 

2. (U) On May 30, 13 members of WOZA and one member of Men

of Zimbabwe Arise! (MOZA) were arrested during a peaceful

protest in downtown Harare. At their initial bail hearing on

May 31, all 14 were denied bail. When the case went to the

high court on June 13, Justice Ben Hlatshwayo granted bail to

12 members but found that Williams and Mahlangu were at risk

of causing “Kenya-style” violence during the June 27

presidential election. Given that the election has now

passed, Williams’ and Mahlangu’s lawyer again applied for

bail on July 3 on the basis that circumstances had changed.

The bail in this second hearing was granted. All 14 have to

report to the local police station every Monday and Friday

until their trial date on July 29.

 

3. (SBU) Poloff spoke with the 12 WOZA members who had been

granted bail on June 13. They were very grateful for

Ambassador McGee’s attempt to visit Williams and Mahlangu at

Chikurubi Women’s Prison on July 1. The Ambassador and

poloff were denied entrance to the prison because they had

not been granted permission by the Zimbabwean Prison Service

(ZPS). Even though the Ambassador and poloff were not

allowed in the prison, they appreciated the continue support

of the USG and broader diplomatic community. (NOTE: the

Spanish Charge d’affaires and British poloff were allowed to

visit on June 18, despite not having permission from the ZPS.

END NOTE.). Post will continue to monitor the case.

McGee

 

(21 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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