WOZA MOZA members arrested


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Fourteen members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise and Men of Zimbabwe Arise were arrested in Harare when they held a mid-day peaceful march to protest against post-election violence in Zimbabwe.

Between 500 and 600 members of the two organisations participated in the March in which the demonstrators were also calling on the Southern African Development Community to intervene in the Zimbabwe crisis and to thank the Zambian government for its efforts to speak out within SADC.

One man and 13 women, including WOZA leader Jenni Williams, were arrested when police broke up the march before it reached the Zambian embassy in Harare.

They were charged with “activity likely to cause public disorder”.

Williams was charged with an additional count of “causing disaffection among the police and publishing false information”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE479, WOZA: THANK YOU MARCH FOR ZAMBIAN SUPPORT LEADS TO

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08HARARE479

2008-06-02 15:54

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO9078

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0479 1541554

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 021554Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2977

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2019

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2140

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0682

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1417

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1775

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2196

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4627

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1282

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 000479

 

SENSITIVE

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: ASEC PGOV PHUM PREL ZI ZM

SUBJECT: WOZA: THANK YOU MARCH FOR ZAMBIAN SUPPORT LEADS TO

14 ARRESTS

 

———————————–

Show of Gratitude Results in Arrests

————————————

 

1. (SBU) Between 500 and 600 members of Women of Zimbabwe

Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA), held a

peaceful mid-day march on Wednesday May 29 in downtown

Harare, which was broken up by police. According to the WOZA

communications officer, the march was to protest the current

post-election violence in Zimbabwe, to call on the Southern

African Development Community (SADC) to intervene, and to

thank the Zambian government for their efforts to speak out

within SADC. The marchers intended to walk three blocks to

the Zambian embassy along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, a main street

in Harare’s business district. WOZA said it notified the

Zambian embassy of their march just minutes before they

began. The Zambian embassy has not communicated with WOZA

since the march.

 

2. (U) Just before marchers arrived at the Zambian embassy,

police arrived and arrested one man and thirteen women,

including WOZA National Coordinator Jenni Williams, who

received Secretary Rice’s International Women of Courage

Award for Africa in 2007. The 14 were charged with “activity

likely to cause public disorder.” Williams was charged with

an additional account of “causing disaffection among the

police and publishing false information.” On Friday May 30,

all were granted bail, but the State appealed, leaving the

WOZA members in jail until their second hearing on June 6.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

3. (SBU) This is the third march WOZA has coordinated since

the March 29 election, including a Mother’s Day protest on

May 5 against post-election violence in which 11 WOZA and

MOZA members were arrested and 59 were injured. While WOZA

is known for their frequent protests and arrests (over 70

protests and 2,500 arrests since their founding in 2003,

according to WOZA’s press release), this detention appears

abnormally long, and it appears that the Zimbabwean

government is using its appeal powers to keep

politically-motivated persons in jail for more extended

periods of time as the June 27 presidential runoff draws

closer. END COMMENT.

 

Warren

 

(34 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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