Stories about IYWD's involvement with young women in the community

The IYWD's declaration on Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri's re-arrest.

5 February 2021

“Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom” Nelson Mandela

The continuous, sporadic and arbitrary arrests of Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri take the feminist movement back to the medieval ages. As the Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) we condemn the unprovoked arrest and incarceration of these two young women leaders.

In a country with a Bill of Rights clearly articulated in the Constitution, freedom and security of the person must be jealously safe guarded. These two young female leaders were arrested on Monday 1 February 2021 on allegations of undermining police authority after they allegedly hurled insults at police in Harare’s Central Business District.


It is a trite principle in our law that pre-trial detention should not be penal in nature, as it contravenes the right to liberty and presumption of innocence. Even short periods in detention cause emotional and physical trauma, disrupt family and private life, the ability to work and has potentially long-term consequences. During this very difficult time, Joana and Cecelia are at high risk of contracting Covid-19 because of the appalling state of our prisons. The alleged crime and the denial of bail at the Magistrates Court is not commensurate.


We call upon the immediate release of Joana Mamombe and Cecelia Chimbiri and subsequent withdrawal of all charges against them.

We demand commensurate damages for the continuous sporadic and unprovoked arrests of the aforementioned.

We further request for investigations to be instituted against the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for the ongoing abuse of the justice process, through preferring trumped charges against young women leaders in order to curtail their work.