Press statement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

FIVE HUNDRED members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) marched in 2 separate protest converging on parliament at 2pm 25th June2012. This
protest is part of the WOZA Occupy campaign to push for the release of
a draft Constitution. The campaign features an occupation style of
protest, a method illustrating the exercising of the right to peaceful
protest, freedom of assembly and expression. The first group marched
past four Riot police who are always stationed at Africa Unity Square
gardens. As they awaited the arrival of the second procession, Riot
police came out of the side door of parliament and began to disperse
the protest threatening to beat the members. A parliamentary officer
tried to argue that the protest had a legitimate demand and presence
at parliament but the police and plain clothed intelligence officer
ignored him and chased away members who were still at the door.

One of the WOZA leaders confronted the senior police officer saying to
him, «if you beat one of us you will have caused a problem and we will
not disperse.» It seems this message was taken to heart and no one was

The dispersing group joined up with the second procession and a
stand-off ensured. The police officers stood in a line trying to block
the protest surging forward back to the door of parliament. This
prompted the activists to sit down to hold their ground. The police
officers retreated watching for some minutes as the protest continued

After some minutes WOZA National coordinator Jenni Williams officially
dispersed the protest indicating that the message had been delivered.

Large groups of members then proceeded several city blocks towards the
bus terminus continuing their singing and sloganeering. No arrests
were made.

The protest message contained in the flyer being distributed will be
as follows: – Politicians be warned stop your bickering and scheming
and release the draft. – Demands an end to police and military
occupation of our streets. – Provide notice to them that WOZA members
will mobilise a nationwide boycott of any Election called without a
new Constitution and referendum. – The protest also serves to demand
end to elite occupation of our systems of government and counter the
calls for another government of national unity.

Some Constitutional demands being made by WOZA members – The head of
state /government has too many unchecked executive powers for a
Democracy. – Removal of excessive powers of the Attorney General and
makes this position serve only as legal advisor to president and
proposes to create a National Prosecuting Authority. –
Gender equality not male domination in parliament – 50/50 non
negotiable. – The reduction of the number of Constituencies from 210
and introduction of a devolved house of representatives. – WOZA
members feel that the issue of dual citizenship is vital to create a
climate where Zimbabweans can come home to help rebuild and develop
their country.

26th June 2012
For more information, please call Jenni Williams +263 772 898 110 or
+263 712 213 885, Magodonga Mahlangu +263 772 362 668 or email or or Visit our website at You can also follow us on Twitter at or find us on Facebook.

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