Student leaders held, assaulted

Campuses in turmoil over excessive catering fees and cancelled accommodation
THE University of Zimbabwe's SRC President Lovemore Chinoputsa and Secretary for Legal Affairs, Fortune Chamba, were last week picked up by university security officers while leading a peaceful demonstration on campus.

R>The demonstration, reportedly well supported by students, was to protest being denied accommodation on campus.
It was called after the Student Executive Council (SEC) reported several fruitless meetings with stakeholders.
The two student leaders were allegedly assaulted with fists and batons and kicked all over their bodies. They reportedly sustained injuries.
Principal Tobias Kuwengwa had denied the SRC members accommodation, accusing them of rallying students to participate in Save Zimbabwe and ZINASU activities.
The students claim they were intimidated and threatened with death by two men claiming to be from the Presidents’ office. The men were identified as ‘Gerald’ (also known as “Acid’) and a certain Mamvura.
The Dean of Students, Mrs Vivian Benga, is said to have threatened that if the SRC members continued with their activism, they would be failed in their courses
In other news, the Co-ordinator of UZ Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is pleading for action to help disabled students.
Disabled students have been hard hit by a decision by Professor Nyagura, the Vice Chancellor, to evict all students from the campus residence.
UZ administration has ordered, through an instruction from the Dean of Students Dr Mduluza – relayed by DRC Coordinator Mr B T Chiparaushe – that 17 visually-impaired students, some of them from Georgette Hostel, be relocated to Montrose Hostel.
Another 53 physically challenged students are having difficulty in attending lectures.
Elsewhere, students charge that Mutare Polytechnic College authorities have flouted the law by charging $900,000 for two meals for the term. Government-gazetted catering fees for all colleges in Zimbabwe were set at $364,000 last semester. –

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