1 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Court Insists Woza 'Kidnap' Case Will Continue

A magistrate has dismissed an application by the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group, as part of their fight to have a 'kidnap' case against them dropped.

WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu are facing kidnap and theft charges, despite the alleged victim of the 'kidnapping' denying this happened. The theft charges meanwhile are related to the disappearance of a torch.

The key witness, Emma Mabhena, last year strongly denied she was ever kidnapped by the WOZA leaders, which contradicted a statement the police claimed she signed. WOZA said Mabhena has "disassociated herself with most of the statement penned in her name by police officers."

The WOZA leaders have since applied to the High Court to have the case dropped, which is still pending before that court.

The two also applied to be removed from remand on the basis of their High Court challenge.

But a Bulawayo regional magistrate, Godwin Sengweni, last week dismissed this application, arguing the application to the High Court for a 'stay of prosecution' did not warrant their removal from remand.

They will now return to court in June.

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