Woza Leaders’ Bail Conditions Relaxed

MILITANT pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu on Tuesday successfully appealed against strict bail conditions imposed on them after they were arrested leading a demonstration in Bulawayo in October.

The two were arrested in the city two months ago while leading about 200 Woza activists protesting against the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the country and were ordered by a Bulawayo magistrate to report to the police twice a week and were also ordered not to travel outside a 40-kilometre radius of Bulawayo without written permission from a magistrate.

The lawyer representing the two activists, Kossam Ncube, successfully appealed against the bail conditions.
In the application, Ncube said his clients were not likely to abscond if their bail conditions were relaxed as the duo last week travelled to Germany to receive a human rights award and returned home.

Ncube argued that if his clients wanted to escape they could have simply disappeared in Germany or anywhere in Europe.

He contended that Williams and Magodonga were set to travel throughout the country to commemorate the 16 days of Activism Against Woman and Child Abuse as leaders of a women’s organisation.

Ncube said his clients also needed to visit friends and relatives during the Christmas festivities and therefore the bail conditions would deter them from travelling across the country.

The state led by Lovemore Chifamba did not oppose the relaxation of the bail conditions.

The duo is being charged under Section 37 1(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for “disturbing the peace, security or order of the public”.

 Williams and Mahlangu will be tried on January 22.

The two were arrested on October 16 at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex. They were part of a group of 200 activists demanding that the humanitarian crisis in the country be depoliticised and declared a national disaster. — Staff Writer.

 

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