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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students

  • Students arrested again
    Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)
    March 06, 2007

    Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) laments the continued criminal and sinful repression of students by the state, using brutal force through members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, among other state machinery. About twenty one students have been arrested at Hillside Teachers College yesterday morning during deliberations by the student leadership over the deteriorating academic freedoms in tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. The arrested are detained at Hillside police station. Among the arrested is the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe Vice Chairperson, Lawrence Mashungu, seven SCMZ members and several Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) General Councilors.

    It is of serious concern that these arrests are preceded by numerous other arrests of students and civic society activists in the demand for opening up of democratic space and justice. Students have been arrested on several incidences in Bulawayo and Harare within the past two months. SCMZ in solidarity witnessed the appearance of the CA leaders in court yesterday (05/03/2007) in Kadoma where the state dropped charges against five of the eight leaders. The dropping of charges is proof that the state is only there to frustrate the progressive forces. Even the charges leveled against the remaining three CA leaders are so weak that they can never be sustained.

    SCMZ calls on the civic society to act against this systematic closure of democratic space in the country. SCMZ reemphasizes to the state actors that the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) is a remnant of colonialism and as such must be repealed.

    The government needs to be reminded that repression will not bring answers to the crisis. Solutions to the crisis are not found in:

    • The intimidation and harassment of students.
    • The criminalization of civic work
    • The banning of rallies and demonstrations
    • The institution of a non-consultative social contract

    The Zimbabwean crisis requires a consultative process were all stakeholders fully participate in the shaping of a new Zimbabwe without fear of reprisals. As SCMZ, our emphasis is on the unity of all progressive democratic forces. SCMZ shall continue to fight and urge all partners to join in the fight for academic freedoms in Zimbabwe.

    To the oppressors, God is saying, "In the times of ignorance God overlooked but he now commands all men everywhere to repent.' Acts 17:30

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