MAGODONGA MAHLANGU, a leader of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) was arrested on 6 august 2013 in Bulawayo. She has been charged the Criminal law (codification and reform) Act [chapter 9:23] Act 23/2004 Section 186 entitled ‘Unfinalised Crimes: Threats, Incitement, Conspiracy and Attempt’. The person accusing her of the threat MDC T Ward Chairwoman for Matshobana, Gladys Dube, made the allegation that Magodonga Mahlangu threatened her.
Ms Mahlangu was charged by police and allowed to be out of custody till 7 august where she attended Central police station and was taken to Tredgold Court. On 7 August, 2013, the matter could not be heard as police officers were instructed to locate witnesses and record statements from them and bring the matter back on Friday 9th August 2013.
During the meeting with the area prosecutor, Lawyer Godfrey Nyoni, representing Mahlangu advised the meeting participants that the distribution of a fake flyer attacking Tsvangirai must have bearing on the case. Mr Nyoni showed the area prosecutor and police officers the flyer and recounted events that lead to phone calls between Magodonga Mahlangu and Gladys Dube.
These events began on Election Day 31st July 2013. A flyer was distributed around the Bulawayo suburbs of Matshobana and Mpopoma. WOZA Members called their leadership to report this. WOZA national coordinator Jenni Williams then called both MDC lead by Tsvangirai and the MDC to advise them that WOZA had not authored the flyer which was being distributed in an attempt discredit WOZA’s impartial position and cause problems between the MDC T and WOZA. (See the flyer at http://wozazimbabwe.org/?p=1443)
It transpires that Gladys Dube and other MDC T members including Ntombizodwa Ncube took exception to the flyer and went to three WOZA member’s houses to threaten them with retribution and beating. This development was then reported to Magodonga who then called both Gladys Dube and Ntombizodwa Ncube pointing out to them that the flyer was not authored by us. However, Gladys Dube continued to threaten a local member Christine Ndlovu who had reported the incident to Mahlangu.
At a meeting on 1st August 2013, Christine Ndlovu reported that Gladys called her a ‘sell out’ for reporting to WOZA leaders that she and Ntombizodwa had threatened her. Taking this threat seriously, and in the presence of WOZA National coordinator, Jenni Williams and 15 other members, Magodonga called Gladys Dube, putting the call on speaker phone. Magodonga asked her to please stop threatening Christine, but Gladys shouted insults incessantly and finally said she was going immediately to Christine Ndlovu house to deal with her. Magodonga then after replied; if you do that and anything happens to Christine we will have to report the matter to the police. Gladys hung up the call.
However from the police reports Gladys Dube claims she was called ‘a sell out’ and that Magodonga told her ‘if Welshman loses, I will come there with CID and police’. In a normal society, responsible officials would clearly note that this story was flipped over or that someone simply misunderstood what was being said. However Zimbabwe is not a normal society so Gladys Dube made a report to the Zimbabwe Republic Police at Western Commonage police station who referred it to the Law and Order Department at Bulawayo Central Police station resulting in the arrest of Magodonga. It is also apparent from the statement of Gladys Dube that on Friday 2nd august she anticipated a MDC T election victory and therefore referred to her party as the ruling party.
WOZA members across Bulawayo have been threatened by members of the Movement for Democratic Change (Tsvangirai) with the words, “When we are the ruling part we will fix you WOZA people”. It is not therefore surprising that Gladys Dube, anticipating an MDC T win on Friday 2nd August 2013 went to the police to fix WOZA through Magodonga Mahlangu and referred to her party the MDC T party as the ruling party.