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Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students
Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)
March 06, 2007
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
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as such must be repealed.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
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.'
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