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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students

  • Arrested students released, but Gwature still missing
    Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
    March 08, 2007

    4 student leaders who were being held by the police were finally released yesterday at around 20:00 hours after frantic and commendable efforts by lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). No charges were levelled against the students. However, Cosmas Gwature, the Student Representative Council (SRC) president of United College of Education (UCE) is still missing. His whereabouts are still shrouded in mystery as efforts to locate him have been fruitless. He was last seen at UCE in a police vehicle from Bulawayo Central Police Station Law and Order section.

    20 students were arrested on the 6th of March 2007 over the current class boycotts called by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) . ZINASU seeks an immediate address to the ever deteriorating education standards, exorbitant fees in Universities and Colleges, immediate review of the Lecturers and non academic staff salaries and an end to the general socio-economic and political crisis besetting our motherland. It is only in Zimbabwe where lecturers, doctors and other professionals are living below the poverty datum line, which is currently pegged at ZW $686 000 according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Most of the professionals are earning salaries ranging from ZW $59 000 to ZW $250 000. Ironically, students are being forced to pay tuition, food and accommodation fees ranging from ZW $ 400 000 to ZW $ 600 000.

    In a related incident, armed police disrupted a students general meeting at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) yesterday, 7 March 2007. No arrests were reported. However, many students took to their heels after the police details started indiscriminately assaulting innocent students with rubber baton sticks and firing tear gas canisters. The general meeting was scheduled to be jointly addressed by ZINASU and local student leadership at the University.

    The class boycotts are gathering momentum and ZINASU is expecting a full blown action by Monday 12 March 2007. There are also fears that Bindura University of Science Education might fail to open its doors for this academic year due to the current class boycotts and industrial action by the Lecturers country wide. It is expected to open on Monday 12 March 2007.

    In response to the article (State to offer full financial support to deserving students) in the state owned daily newspaper, The Herald of today, 8 March 2007, we as ZINASU reiterate our position that the government must offer full financial support to all students not to try and use that facility as a political tool or strategy to discriminate students with a different political ideology to that of the ruling party. Universal Declaration on Human Rights article 26 (1) and African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights article 17 (1) clearly state that 'everyone has a right to education'

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