Women of Zimbabwe Arise Report Increased Harassment

Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams, Women of Zimbabwe Arise

Magodonga Mahlangu and Jenni Williams, Women of Zimbabwe Arise

Last month, Magodonga Mahlangu was awarded the RFK Human Rights Award for the work she does as co-leader of Women of Zimbabwe  Arise (WOZA). Since her return to Zimbabwe, however, she and co-leader Jenni Williams are reporting increased harassment levels by police and Central Intelligence officers. Both Magodonga and Jenni have faced heightened intimidation efforts following past international recognition, but it was hoped that since this award was presented by President Barack Obama along with Ethel Kennedy, it might buy them a little breathing space since even Mugabe has hailed Obama as a pretty cool dude. Clearly Obama’s street cred as a brother will only carry you so far.

Magodonga and Jenni were back in court last week on pending charges from an arrest in October 2008. The Supreme Court verbally ruled almost six months ago that the charges were unconstitutional but has yet to put it in writing. In the spirit of continuing to drag the process out as long as possible, the ladies were now told that their file was missing and the magistrate would not make any ruling without it and these “political cases” are sensitive. Hmmm. Political cases? I seem to remember that Magodonga and Jenni were arrested because they were marching in the streets demanding equitable distribution of food aid. You say political case, I say oppression of human rights defenders. Tomato, tomatoe.

Magodonga and Jenni were ordered to reappear Monday, January 14th. Take Action! Demand justice for Magodonga and Jenni.

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13 thoughts on “Women of Zimbabwe Arise Report Increased Harassment

  1. in the voice of the Dame, it is holocaust denial, and it is in the hands of the international community and the timelessness of Peter, Paul and Mary of th 1960s…

  2. in the voice of the Dame, it is holocaust denial, and it is in the hands of the international community and the timelessness of Peter, Paul and Mary of th 1960s…

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  4. Dear Sarah,

    If Obama has street cred, then the street is woefully & MOST SHAMEFULLY out of touch, not only with the world, but with itself !!

    When will the street wake up & see, Obama ain't its brother, & NEVER CLAIMED to be !!

    As long as , & to the extent that, the street deludes itself that Obama's a "bro", that "street" stops at the borders of every rez in Indian country, every tent city of the homeless & the foreclosed, it falls outside the arena for full health care for everybody, & at the boundaries of Afghanistan, Waziristan & Palestine .

    Our solidarity is only in the struggle, not in surrender or servility.

  5. Hi Art-

    I find it interesting that you focused on my minor joking comment regarding Obama and how he was nearly universally hailed in Africa upon his election by its leaders because of the color of his skin; rather than noticing that the blog posting is about two women being harassed and placed in danger because of their courageous efforts to bring a better quality of life to all Zimbabweans. I think this is what's called missing the forest for the trees…

    Sarah

  6. Dear Sarah,

    If Obama has street cred, then the street is woefully & MOST SHAMEFULLY out of touch, not only with the world, but with itself !!

    When will the street wake up & see, Obama ain’t its brother, & NEVER CLAIMED to be !!

    As long as , & to the extent that, the street deludes itself that Obama’s a “bro”, that “street” stops at the borders of every rez in Indian country, every tent city of the homeless & the foreclosed, it falls outside the arena for full health care for everybody, & at the boundaries of Afghanistan, Waziristan & Palestine .

    Our solidarity is only in the struggle, not in surrender or servility.

  7. Hi Art-

    I find it interesting that you focused on my minor joking comment regarding Obama and how he was nearly universally hailed in Africa upon his election by its leaders because of the color of his skin; rather than noticing that the blog posting is about two women being harassed and placed in danger because of their courageous efforts to bring a better quality of life to all Zimbabweans. I think this is what’s called missing the forest for the trees…

    Sarah

  8. Art-

    Wow. Didn't expect an Obama rant. Taking it you are not a fan. Perhaps you would have been happier if Sarah Palin was the USA VP so she could shoot wolves from Marine One? But wait, that was a joke and apparently that's not allowed?

    The award was presented by the RFK Justice and Human Rights Center. The ceremony was hosted at the White House. Obama was on the dias, made a speech and physically put the award in the hands of Magodonga and Jenni along with Ethel Kennedy. Pictures were taken. That is the extent of Obama's connection with the award.

    Did I have some vague hope that pictures of WOZA with Obama would not be manipulated by the Herald to have "TRAITOR" stamped across them in the same way pictures were of Jenni after she previously received an award? Yes. Was that hope based on the fact that upon Obama's election, Mugabe congratulated "brother Obama"? Yup. (http://www.zimdaily.com/news/obama27.6539.html)

    Was that incredibly naive and unrealistic? Sure it was-but that's the sort of world I need to live in so that I can get up every day-the sort of world where I hope some small thing might save someone from greater oppression and harm. And it was still pretty darn cool to be able to check out the White House for the award ceremony. Although if I had known that it's apparently relatively easy to gate crash parties there I might have tried that alot earlier.

    Sarah

  9. i once told you, Sarah,

    i never comment on that which i agree with.

    Your report's good. The flaw's where you say you or others believed that the very fact Obama gave them the award would help the women some.

    This flaw's not a minor thing or a joke to me, it's a big mistake, as your report proves.An illusion can be as major as a "reality",especially in a Kafkaesque world.

    Obama's giving of awards is itself as empty & valueless as anything he promises or says, or the awards he gets. He's devalued himself by his doings & nondoings so ably Mugabe can do nothing to devalue him or his empty giving.To rephrase it, his awards mean nothing in the real world, because he really operates only "behind" it.

    And your true friends might tell you Sarah a joke can only be carried so far. Calling Obama cool & a bro, today — & citing his street cred, which by the way is the only truth in your joke, which is why i attacked the "street" — is too much after that nobel award & that acceptance speech. He's a fake & a fraud, & scalewise geographically the world's hugest warmaker today.

  10. Art-

    Wow. Didn't expect an Obama rant. Taking it you are not a fan. Perhaps you would have been happier if Sarah Palin was the USA VP so she could shoot wolves from Marine One? But wait, that was a joke and apparently that's not allowed?

    The award was presented by the RFK Justice and Human Rights Center. The ceremony was hosted at the White House. Obama was on the dias, made a speech and physically put the award in the hands of Magodonga and Jenni along with Ethel Kennedy. Pictures were taken. That is the extent of Obama's connection with the award.

    Did I have some vague hope that pictures of WOZA with Obama would not be manipulated by the Herald to have "TRAITOR" stamped across them in the same way pictures were of Jenni after she previously received an award? Yes. Was that hope based on the fact that upon Obama's election, Mugabe congratulated "brother Obama"? Yup. (http://www.zimdaily.com/news/obama27.6539.html)

    Was that incredibly naive and unrealistic? Sure it was-but that's the sort of world I need to live in so that I can get up every day-the sort of world where I hope some small thing might save someone from greater oppression and harm. And it was still pretty darn cool to be able to check out the White House for the award ceremony. Although if I had known that it's apparently relatively easy to gate crash parties there I might have tried that alot earlier.

    Sarah

  11. Art-

    Wow. Didn't expect an Obama rant. Taking it you are not a fan. Perhaps you would have been happier if Sarah Palin was the USA VP so she could shoot wolves from Marine One? But wait, that was a joke and apparently that's not allowed?

    The award was presented by the RFK Justice and Human Rights Center. The ceremony was hosted at the White House. Obama was on the dias, made a speech and physically put the award in the hands of Magodonga and Jenni along with Ethel Kennedy. Pictures were taken. That is the extent of Obama's connection with the award.

    Did I have some vague hope that pictures of WOZA with Obama would not be manipulated by the Herald to have "TRAITOR" stamped across them in the same way pictures were of Jenni after she previously received an award? Yes. Was that hope based on the fact that upon Obama's election, Mugabe congratulated "brother Obama"? Yup. (http://www.zimdaily.com/news/obama27.6539.html)

    Was that incredibly naive and unrealistic? Sure it was-but that's the sort of world I need to live in so that I can get up every day-the sort of world where I hope some small thing might save someone from greater oppression and harm. And it was still pretty darn cool to be able to check out the White House for the award ceremony. Although if I had known that it's apparently relatively easy to gate crash parties there I might have tried that alot earlier.

    Sarah

  12. i once told you, Sarah,

    i never comment on that which i agree with.

    Your report’s good. The flaw’s where you say you or others believed that the very fact Obama gave them the award would help the women some.

    This flaw’s not a minor thing or a joke to me, it’s a big mistake, as your report proves.An illusion can be as major as a “reality”,especially in a Kafkaesque world.

    Obama’s giving of awards is itself as empty & valueless as anything he promises or says, or the awards he gets. He’s devalued himself by his doings & nondoings so ably Mugabe can do nothing to devalue him or his empty giving.To rephrase it, his awards mean nothing in the real world, because he really operates only “behind” it.

    And your true friends might tell you Sarah a joke can only be carried so far. Calling Obama cool & a bro, today — & citing his street cred, which by the way is the only truth in your joke, which is why i attacked the “street” — is too much after that nobel award & that acceptance speech. He’s a fake & a fraud, & scalewise geographically the world’s hugest warmaker today.

  13. Art-

    Wow. Didn’t expect an Obama rant. Taking it you are not a fan. Perhaps you would have been happier if Sarah Palin was the USA VP so she could shoot wolves from Marine One? But wait, that was a joke and apparently that’s not allowed?

    The award was presented by the RFK Justice and Human Rights Center. The ceremony was hosted at the White House. Obama was on the dias, made a speech and physically put the award in the hands of Magodonga and Jenni along with Ethel Kennedy. Pictures were taken. That is the extent of Obama’s connection with the award.

    Did I have some vague hope that pictures of WOZA with Obama would not be manipulated by the Herald to have “TRAITOR” stamped across them in the same way pictures were of Jenni after she previously received an award? Yes. Was that hope based on the fact that upon Obama’s election, Mugabe congratulated “brother Obama”? Yup.(http://www.zimdaily.com/news/obama27.6539.html)

    Was that incredibly naive and unrealistic? Sure it was-but that’s the sort of world I need to live in so that I can get up every day-the sort of world where I hope some small thing might save someone from greater oppression and harm. And it was still pretty darn cool to be able to check out the White House for the award ceremony. Although if I had known that it’s apparently relatively easy to gate crash parties there I might have tried that alot earlier.

    Sarah