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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students

  • Student leaders detained
    Students Solidarity Trust
    February 13, 2007

    State security agents from the law and order section at the Harare Central Police Station have detained 15 student leaders at the Harare Polytechnic. The arrested students include President of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, Promise Mkwananzi.

    The other students who have been detained are Maureen Kademaunga, Abisha Dube, Chanda Chinale, Lovemore Chinoputsa, Lawrence Mashungu (he was in police custody last week after leading demonstrations at the Bulawayo Polytechnic, Kudzai Mupazviriwo, Gladys Mukubvu, Kudakwashe Mapundu, Blessing Vava (was also in police custody in Bulawayo last week and he is the President at Bulawayo Poly). 6 other students from Harare Poly have not been identified.

    The students have been taken to Harare Central Police Station.

    ZINASU, led by their President are engaging the government of Zimbabwe through street protests, highlighting the precarious state of higher education in Zimbabwe. Students like doctors, nurses, teachers and the generality of the workers in Zimbabwe are failing to make ends meet owing to the continued demise of Zimbabwe's economy - which is in the intensive care unit. Inflation is now a record 1.593.6%.

    The student leaders, who comprised student activists from other colleges in the country, held a general meeting at the Harare Poly, which was supposed to culminate into a march into the streets of Harare. But state security agents from Law and Order were alert to the situation and foiled the demonstration, and detained 15 students in the process.

    The students were demonstrating in solidarity with the civil servants who are getting paltry salaries which can hardly sustain people's livelihoods. They were also demanding that the government address the lecturer's plight, who are on strike. The students also demanded the abolition of the new fees structure, which is making parents fork out a lot of money for tuition.

    The country is currently engulfed in a swathe of strikes by workers who are just failing to make end meet owing to the hyperinflationary environment. The problems that are besetting the Harare regime are a making of its own, the structural problems emanate from a crisis of legitimacy - the stolen 2002 elections, and the evil intention by Mugabe to extend his tenure of office without facing popular election. Zimbabwe desperately needs a return to legitimacy.

    Meanwhile lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are being denied access to the arrested students. Unconfirmed reports point that about 40 more students have been rounded up from Harare Poly and are in police custody.

    Visit the Students Solidarity Trust fact sheet

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