HomeLocal NewsPolice ordered off Woza offices

Police ordered off Woza offices

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Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, has ordered police to vacate the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) Trust offices in the city where they had literally camped over the past two weeks.

This follows last Tuesday’s High Court application where the women’s pressure group sought an interdict compelling Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Chief Superintendent Patrick Moyo, Officer Commanding CID Law and Order Section at Bulawayo Central Police Station, to urgently remove police stationed at the offices.
The application was submitted by Woza lawyer, Kossam Ncube.

On Monday, Justice Mathonsi granted a provisional interdict which partly reads: “Pending the finalisation of this matter, the applicant be granted the following relief: The applicant be and are hereby restored to full possession and occupation of House No 33A Clark Road, Suburbs, Bulawayo.

“The respondents be and hereby directed to order and facilitate the immediate withdrawal of all police officers from the aforesaid house and the surrounding yard.

The respondents be and are hereby directed to ensure that nothing is removed from the aforesaid house without due process.”
Ncube yesterday morning served Chief Supt Moyo with the provisional order.

The police were given 12 days to file a notice of opposition to the confirmation of the provisional order, failure of which the matter would be set for hearing in the High Court without further notice.

Justice Mathonsi heard the matter in his chambers on Friday and reserved judgment to Monday after hearing submissions from both sides.

The pressure group wanted the High Court to restore back to the organisation full and undisturbed occupation of the house.

Two weeks ago, police allegedly stormed Woza offices in the plush Suburbs area in a bid to stop the activists’ meeting where they were reportedly discussing poor service delivery by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

The activists, who were reportedly preparing petitions against the power utility, managed to escape using the other gate.

Since then, police had camped at Woza offices.
Whisper Mabhaudi represented the Attorney-General’s Office in the case.

However, by yesterday evening the police had not complied with the order by Mathonsi as they had deployed an afternoon guard to man the premises.

In an interview, Woza director Jenni Williams said they had sent a service provider to repair the gate which the police allegedly destroyed when they stormed the house but he was chased.

“We observed them changing shifts putting an afternoon guard. They have not complied with the order and we are still monitoring the situation.

“If they put another shift for the night, tomorrow morning we will be filing for contempt of court at the High Court,” said Williams.

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