Two leaders of the Zimbabwean social justice movement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have been released from prison, and are due to appear in court on 12 December. They had been arrested in September, while attempting to join a peaceful march, and denied bail.
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were arrested with 10 other WOZA activists on 21 September after police used excessive force to break up a peaceful march marking United Nations International Day of Peace. Ten of these activists were released without charge after prosecutors refused to prosecute them, but Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were charged with “kidnapping and theft”, denied bail and remanded in custody at Mlondolozi Prison, near Bulawayo. They were detained for 13 days without access to necessary medication, despite the fact that both women were recovering from recent surgical operations.
On 4 October a Bulawayo High Court judge ordered that Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu be released from custody and granted bail, after lawyers appealed against the decision to deny them bail. They are set to appear in court on 12 December. Many thanks to all who sent appeals on their behalf. No further action is requested from the UA network. We will continue to monitor the case.