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Seven members were arrested at the Joshua Nkomo Statue intersection protest at Main Street and 8th Avenue and lawyers have been deployed but police are denying arresting any members.
Two of the 3 planned protests began whilst the third was stopped by Riot Police who followed the activists for over 30 minutes as they tried to regroup. This group eventually managed to regroup and conduct their Die-in without incident at Main Street and 6th avenue. The Chronicle, state owned newspaper offices were not spared as members also managed to Die-in there and then left their flyers and placards at the door of the offices.
WOZA women sleep on the road
Shortly after the protests police were deployed into many locations in the city centre. A senior ranking police officer came out of the nearby Police Headquarters walked to the Joshua Nkomo statue with 50 police officers and barked orders to pick up the flyers and to arrest passers-by.
He shouted at them saying; "how can people sleep in the road in front of you and you don't see them? You cannot say you can only see papers, go and get them they went there and there."
He manhandled some police officers including one female officer pushing them in the direction of the alleged protesters.
The members carrying traffic signs and red flags lay down in the intersections faking 'Death' as a way to symbolise that Bulawayo is dying and as it is allowed to die, residents will become refugees in their own city.
WOZA feel that the reason the economy and the cities like Bulawayo are being left to die lies in the political culture of centralised power and resource control. WOZA are of the view that a key way to change this destructive culture is through a devolved system of government which must be adopted as a principle in the new constitution.
The protest campaign is also a way of putting pressure on politicians to release the constitution that they are holding hostage with their egos and elite 'pacting'. WOZA members do not feel another Government of national unity is in their interests but is a way to keep the elite in power and they will boycott any election process conducted without a new constitution.
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