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It's politics, stupid: A report on the mass eviction of students at the UZ, July 2007
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
July 25, 2007

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1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Introduction and Background
3.0 Political, Social and Economic context of the mass evictions
4.0 Scope, Extend and Impact of the mass evictions
4.1 Female students
4.2 Male students
4.3 Students with disabilities
4.4 Parents and Guardians
4.5 Lecturers
4.6 Transport operators capacity
4.7 Non-resident students
5.0 Legal analysis of mass evictions
6.0 Barometer of students struggles at UZ: 04 June - 09 July 07
7.0 Tactical and Mid-Term response
7.1 Brief Introduction
7.2 Political response
7.3 Legal response
7.4 Media strategy
7.5 Humanitarian intervention
8.0 Lessons Learnt
9.0 Short term and specific recommendations
10.0 Long term recommendations
11.0 Appendix

1. Executive Summary

This strategic report seeks to comprehensively and systematically capture the historical developments, philosophical underpinnings, the extent, scope and impact of the mass eviction of students at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the oldest and biggest institution of higher learning in Zimbabwe on the 9th of July 2007. It also presents the holistic, integrated and multi-layered political, legal, humanitarian response and media strategy taken by the student union and other strategic organisations including the Student Solidarity Trust. The lessons learnt and tactical to mid-term and long term recommendations are also aptly captured in the report.

The Gestapo styled - mass evictions were politically motivated and had unprecedented economic and social repercussions on students and their parents and Guardians. The government and ZANU PF sanctioned operation was unfortunate, sudden, total, brutal and unnecessary. It was a sin before God, a crime against humanity and resulted in untold human suffering. More than 5 600 students were affected directly and more than 9 000 students were indirectly affected. The majority of the affected were female students who occupied 5 of the 8 halls of residence at the Institution. More than 80% of students at the University of Zimbabwe come from outside Harare. 6 student leaders were arrested, tortured and indefinitely suspended over the disturbances which rocked the University on the 3rd and 7th of July 2007, leading to the closure of the University on the 9th of July 2007.

2. Introduction and Background

The mass evictions, reminiscent of Operation Murambatsvina (Operation Restore Order) of 2005 was carried out by armed riot police at 2:30 pm, on the 9th July 2007 following a 30 minute notice by the University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Professor Levy Nyagura. In his notice sent out at 2pm, Professor Nyagura said that students had destroyed University property on the 3rd and 7th of July and that all students should leave halls of residence by 3 pm of the same day.

The students were rejecting the ZW$ 1 000 000 top up fees by the University. At 2:30pm, armed riot police had started violently evicting students from the halls of residence. In the process hundreds of students were beaten and injured by the riot police. Two students were critically injured and received medical attention at Avenues clinic, in Harare. All the resident students were affected regardless of whether one had paid the top up fees or not.

Below are the graphical and statistical presentation of the gender analysis of resident students and comparative analysis of resident and non resident students who were worst affected by the operation.

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