Four NUST Students Remanded in Custody

nust_logoIn a wave of demonstrations which lasted over several days by students at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST),

which saw the arrest of six students, four of them appeared in court today and have been remanded in custody till the 7th of June. The four had actually been remanded to tomorrow (04 June) but the date was changed after their lawyer had indicated that he wont be around till Monday the 7th of June. The other two were released on the 2nd of June with no charges being pressed against them. The students are being charged for holding an illegal gathering with the intention of causing public violence. The students who have been remanded in custody are Beaven Nyamande, David Mashanawani, Duncan Mombeshora and Ernest Makoni.

The demonstrations were sparked by the college authorities following the barring of students from writing their exams for this semester over outstanding fee payments. The NUST administration has indicated that students with zero accruals on their accounts are the ones allowed to write exams, denying almost 90% of the students access to the examinations and this caused an outcry especially from final year students.

Demonstrations started on Monday when most students could not get into examinations and it is believed that of the 600 students in final year only 200 were allowed to write exams. Police had to be called in to contain the angry students before they could destroy property. In an attempt to calm the angry students the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lindela Ndlovu, was escorted by more than 10 policemen to a lecture theatre where he held an hour-long stormy meeting with the angry students, but no solution could be found. In his attempt to find a compromise, Prof Ndlovu indicated that those who had cleared their tuition fees but had outstanding levies would be allowed to sit for examinations, the students disagreed. During the meeting, the students threatened to go on a full-scale demonstration which they held up until Wednesday.

Meanwhile 3 student leaders were also arrested in Mutare on Tuesday the 2nd of June on allegations of disorderly conduct when they were addressing students at Mutare Polytechnic. The ZINASU Vice President Tafadzwa Kutya, Education and Research Secretary Bestnos Kundishora and Gamuchirai Mukura were released on the 2nd in the morning. No charges were leveled against the student leaders.

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