students released, but Gwature still missing
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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students
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
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
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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