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of students continues countrywide
Students Solidarity Trust
Extracted from September Newsletter
The victimization of
student activists exercising their legitimate right to free expression
and assembly at the institutions of higher learning in the country
continues at an accelerated pace.
The month of September,
which incidentally is the month most colleges in Zimbabwe open,
saw an increased and sustained attack on the liberties of students
in the country.
has continued to manifest itself through suspensions, unlawful detentions,
and torture. Constant human right violations within the students
obtained frequently in Masvingo, at the Great Zimbabwe University
and the University
Incidentally, the minefields
that have filled the political terrain of student activism have
confirmed that the administration and the law enforcement agents
are bend on stifling student right to free debate and assembly.
Students are more often than not unlawfully arrested and detained,
without charge, in an endeavor to criminalise student activism.
Edmore Phunungwe, a Bachelor
of Arts student at the Great Zimbabwe University was suspended indefinitely
by the college authorities for taking pictures of demonstration
that occurred at the campus last semester, he was suspended on the
2nd of September. He was subsequently suspended for one year.
In the same month, 6
student leaders were arrested in Masvingo at the Great Zimbabwe
University after student leaders at the campus were involved in
skirmishes with rival students from the Zimbabwe Congress of Students'
ZICOSU is a parallel
students organization formed by government, in the mould of Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), to counter the influence of ZINASU
at the country's institutions of higher learning. Police with
the active participation of students affiliated to ZICOSU arrested
the student leaders.
Among the student leaders
arrested were Whitlow Mugwiji, SRC President and Eddington Hlatshwayo,
SRC Secretrary General. They were arrested on the 11th of September,
and spend two nights in police custody. 5 of them were released
without charge and did not appear in court, whilst, Whitlow Mugwiji,
appeared in court facing charges of contempt of court
In related events, another
student at GZU Ogyliv Makova, was arrested in connection with the
disturbances that led to the arrest of his colleagues, he was detained
on the 13th of September, and spend 3 nights in police custody.
He was released and signed a warned and cautioned statement.
The onslaught on student
activists in Masvingo continued unabated when police arrested two
student leaders for the second time in a space of two weeks. Whitlow
Mugwiji, who had been detained on September 11, was again arrested
for trespassing. He was arrested alongside Courage Ngwarai, Secretary
for legal affairs. They were arrested on the 23rd of September.
The two were released and made to sign warned and cautioned statement.
The University of Zimbabwe
opened with an escalation of the conflict between the students and
the administration, and true to the hard-line stance of the Nyagura
administration, students trying to exercise their right to free
assembly and speech were either suspended or tortured.
On the 5th of August,
Shadreck Vengesai was arrested and detained at Avondale Police Station
for distributing fliers alerting students to the looming accommodation
crisis at the University of Zimbabwe. He was released without charged.
On the 18th of September,
students at the University of Zimbabwe organized for protests against
the escalating accommodation crisis at the campus. Lovemore Chinoputsa,
the Students Executive Council (SEC) President and Fortune Chamba,
the SEC Secretary General were arrested and detained at Avondale
Police Station for one night, and were released after signing warned
and cautioned statement.
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