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Zimbabwean Activists to Remain in Custody

Two senior organizers of the Zimbabwean activist group Women of Zimbabwe Arise held by police since mid-October were to remain in custody at least until Monday, according to legal sources who said the magistrate who was to hear their case left to attend a workshop and was not available to rule on their bail request.

Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were arrested on Thursday, Oct. 16, during a peaceful demonstration in Bulawayo demanding immediate access for all Zimbabweans to food assistance and an end to the impasse in political power-sharing talks.

In an Oct. 17 court hearing the two women were remanded to police custody until Oct. 21, but their hearing was put off for three days after authorities said they had no fuel to transport prisoners from the police lockup to magistrates court.

Defense attorney Kossam Ncube told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he was disappointed that his clients could not obtain their freedom on Friday, but said that as a lawyer he was could do nothing about it.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...