Woza leaders charged with kidnapping, theft

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Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leaders, arrested on Wednesday when they took to the streets to commemorate World Peace Day, have been charged with kidnapping and theft.

They are being accused of abducting an old woman in Njube in July and theft of an electric torch at a house in Nketa.

Jenni Williams and Godonga Mahlangu’s lawyer, Kossam Ncube, confirmed the new development yesterday saying:

“The other women have been charged with criminal nuisance. They are being accused of throwing fliers and disturbing the free flow of traffic and members of the public. I think they will appear in court tomorrow (today),” the lawyer said.

“Williams and Mahlangu are being accused of kidnapping an elderly woman in Njube sometime in July and also of allegedly stealing an electric torch and are all still in police custody.”

The award-winning human rights activists were arrested in Bulawayo on Wednesday among over 500 women who poured onto the city’s streets dancing, singing, and destributing fliers in commeration of the International Day of Peace.

The International Day of Peace is celebrated
annually on September 21.

The Woza activists underlined their march with a call for an end to political violence in the country.

In one of the fliers the human rights activists said they aimed to mobilise Zimbabweans, in particular women, to demand social justice on a non-partisan basis, educate them about their civic rights and persuade them to participate in all civic processes.

The peaceful marches were broken up by heavily-armed police in anti-riot police gear.

Williams and Mahlangu have been arrested many times for leading protests by women.