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Cablegate: Woza: Thank You March for Zambian Support Leads To

VZCZCXRO9078
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0479 1541554
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021554Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2977
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2019
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2140
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0682
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1417
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1775
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2196
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4627
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1282
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS HARARE 000479

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/S FOR S. HILL
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS
STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PGOV PHUM PREL ZI ZM
SUBJECT: WOZA: THANK YOU MARCH FOR ZAMBIAN SUPPORT LEADS TO
14 ARRESTS

-----------------------------------
Show of Gratitude Results in Arrests
------------------------------------

1. (SBU) Between 500 and 600 members of Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA), held a
peaceful mid-day march on Wednesday May 29 in downtown
Harare, which was broken up by police. According to the WOZA
communications officer, the march was to protest the current
post-election violence in Zimbabwe, to call on the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) to intervene, and to
thank the Zambian government for their efforts to speak out
within SADC. The marchers intended to walk three blocks to
the Zambian embassy along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, a main street
in Harare's business district. WOZA said it notified the
Zambian embassy of their march just minutes before they
began. The Zambian embassy has not communicated with WOZA
since the march.

2. (U) Just before marchers arrived at the Zambian embassy,
police arrived and arrested one man and thirteen women,
including WOZA National Coordinator Jenni Williams, who
received Secretary Rice's International Women of Courage
Award for Africa in 2007. The 14 were charged with "activity
likely to cause public disorder." Williams was charged with
an additional account of "causing disaffection among the
police and publishing false information." On Friday May 30,
all were granted bail, but the State appealed, leaving the
WOZA members in jail until their second hearing on June 6.

-------
COMMENT
-------

3. (SBU) This is the third march WOZA has coordinated since
the March 29 election, including a Mother's Day protest on
May 5 against post-election violence in which 11 WOZA and
MOZA members were arrested and 59 were injured. While WOZA
is known for their frequent protests and arrests (over 70
protests and 2,500 arrests since their founding in 2003,
according to WOZA's press release), this detention appears
abnormally long, and it appears that the Zimbabwean
government is using its appeal powers to keep
politically-motivated persons in jail for more extended
periods of time as the June 27 presidential runoff draws
closer. END COMMENT.

Warren

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