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On the streets with WOZA

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Downtown Harare on Valentine’s Day was livened up the vibrant sistaz and bruthaz of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). Saturday shoppers and the odd tourist (we saw TWO, imagine, I felt like rounding them up and putting them on exhibit because they’ve become so rare) milling around Unity Square were treated to the sight of three converging groups of WOZA demonstrators. WOZA gave out plastic red roses and fliers to passing motorists, flower sellers, ice cream vendors, street cleaners (we’ve got a couple of those as well) and pedestrians. Without exception the WOZA literature was gobbled up by members of the general public who seldom get to see anything besides the state-controlled crap that’s put out by the GNU. In fact, on Saturday morning WOZA chose the front steps of the Herald House as their site of struggle. No doubt their choice was guided by the need to condemn the daily diet of propaganda that the Herald produces. The WOZA demonstration lasted about 15 minutes. I kept on expecting the riot police armed with their “tiger” and batons to storm the gathering but they didn’t. A big pom pom to WOZA for continuing to demand meaningful democratic change in Zimbabwe and for testing freedoms like the right to protest peacefully.

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