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Zimbabwe Protesters Seeking Drop of Charges

FILE: One of the arrested protesters Jenni Williams at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo
FILE: One of the arrested protesters Jenni Williams at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo

Lawyers representing 10 women who are jointly facing a charge of public nuisance after they staged a protest at the venue of an international cricket match over the weekend in Bulawayo today applied for refusal of further remand at the magistrates’ court, arguing that the women have no case to answer.

One of the lawyers, Solomon Mguni, representing the ten women through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, told Studio 7 that they had decided to apply for refusal of further remand as -in their view- the women did not commit any crime.

The women, who include Jenni Williams, the director of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise, were granted free bail when they first appeared in court on Monday.

They were arrested on Saturday when police broke up a demonstration by a few dozen picketers outside the Queens Sports Club featuring a cricket test match between Zimbabwe and New Zealand.

The activists, most of them wielding placards denouncing President Robert Mugabe’s government and the state’s intended move to introduce bond notes, protested outside the sports club before police arrested some of them.

Mguni said he also filed a formal complaint to the court about the conditions of the cells in which the women were held as well as the fact that they were forced to remove their underwear while in custody.

Prosecutor Nkathazo Dlodlo told the court that he would have responded to the accused’s application by next Monday.

Magistrate Batanai Tuwe said he would give a ruling on the application on August 22nd.