500 Woza women invade police station

BULAWAYO - Nearly 500 Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) members yesterday invaded Bulawayo Central Police Station denouncing police brutality.

The demonstration was prompted by police’s stance on Wednesday, when they dispersed Woza members using tear gas and violence.

The women were tear-gassed by riot police as they performed a ceremony dubbed “love march”.

In the attack which prompted yesterday’s reaction, Woza members were in for a shock as their march was intercepted at the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Second Street just as they approached Parliament.

They were stopped about 500 metres from Parliament. As police pushed protesters away, some cops beat the dispersing crowd, causing pandemonium.

In protest of the police attack, Woza leaders Jenni Wiliams and Magodonga Mahlangu yesterday led their members in another campaign in Bulawayo.

They invaded the police headquarters along Ninth Avenue and Main Street in the country’s second largest city.

Police officers wielding baton sticks, failed to disperse the group.

Mahlangu was heard shouting, “Stop brutality against women. You should shoot us all today.”

Upon besieging the police camp, the members blocked the entrance and started singing and dancing while denouncing police.

They demanded the cops to stop beating women and join them in celebrating Valentine ’s Day, as they distributed flowers to the cops.

Police only managed to arrest 10 members of the group, but over 100 women besieged the police van.

The women were ordered out of the police vehicle, forcing the police to drive-off from the provincial headquarters at speed with Williams and Mahlangu only.

They drove to Bulawayo Police Central Station, a few blocks away from the provincial headquarters and about three hundred women followed in hot pursuit.

As soon as the police opened the main gate to the camp, the women entered in droves, immediately breaking into song and dance. - Pindai Dube

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