Student Watch

By Violet Gonda
08 May 2006
18 students from Bindura University were arrested as the impasse over harsh school fee hikes continues between the university students and the government. The government announced unaffordable increases in tuition and accommodation fees in all state owned tertiary i

nstitutions in February and have chosen to arrest and beat desperate students who have protested against the hikes. A statement issued late Monday by the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union said police officers, “Armed to the teeth, arrested 18 students who were peacefully demonstrating against the ill-advised and anti-student new fee structure.” ZINASU leader Washington Katema said the arrested students were brutally assaulted before being taken to Bindura Central Police station, where they are currently unlawfully detained. After a meeting early Monday, the Bindura University Student Representative Council (SRC) had resolved to meet their Vice Chancellor who reportedly refused to meet them and responded by calling the police. Katema said, “When the police officers arrived at the campus they started beating students indiscriminately and one female student sustained a broken jaw and was rushed to a private clinic in Bindura. The whereabouts of Chiweshe are still unknown.” Just four days ago, 48 student leaders were arrested in Harare after a portrait of Robert Mugabe was vandalised at the venue of ZINASU congress. Katema said, “This is a clear indication that Zimbabwe has evolved into a pariah state.” He said the students resolved to continue to reject the new fee structure.

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