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UZ student leaders arrested, brutally assaulted
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
September 18, 2007


University of Zimbabwe Students Union president, Lovemore Chinoputsa and the secretary for legal and academic affairs, Fortune Chamba have been today, the 18th of September 2007 arrested and brutally assaulted by State Security agents and campus security officers after a peaceful students protest which rocked the once prestigious University this afternoon.

The students were demonstrating against the continued closure of all Halls of Residence, a key issue, which has precipitated an unprecedented accommodation crisis in the history of the institution. 5600 students were affected by closure of all eight halls of residence on the 9th of July 2007. Chinoputsa, the student leader had called for an extra-ordinary General Meeting on campus to provide leadership and direction to the desperate students.

Key on the agenda was the worsening accommodation crisis, which has left about 1200 students sleeping in night clubs and at the railway station in Harare . Chinoputsa was arrested as he was delivering his speech. As part of the way forward, he had proposed that students must meet the Vice Chancellor, Professor Levy Nyagura for official explanation of the rationale and philosophical underpinings of the move to deny students their right to shelter. Chinoputsa's decision was informed by the continual refusal by the Vice Chancellor to meet the student leadership since the 3rd of September 2007, when the University opened its doors for this academic year.

Meanwhile, the water crisis in Bulawayo has spread to other colleges and universities in the region. Students at Hillside Teachers College, United Education College , National University of Science and Technology have gone for days without taking a bath. All the toilets are not working and a serious health crisis is looming in the second biggest city in Zimbabwe. At Bulawayo Polytechnic, the college authorities, Principal Dr. T. Ndlovu and his deputy Mr. Mabasa are contempleting closing down the institution if the situation does not improve by the end of the week.

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