The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) continues to use force on unarmed students arresting them in order to investigate cases. The month also recorded a high number of students attending court sessions throughout the country.
On 23 May, four student activists were arrested at Great Zimbabwe University campus and detained at Rujeko Police Station. They were released without charges after spending a night in custody.
On 27 May, two Masvingo Polytechnic students were abducted by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) on 27 May following a demonstration at the college. Students were demonstrating against the decision by college authorities to charge examination fees, a new phenomenon in Polytechnic Colleges. The two students were tortured using sharp metal objects and pliers to remove flesh from their bodies.
0n 28 May five student activists were arrested at Masvingo polytechnic on charges of assaulting the college Principal. The five Zivanai Muzorodzi, Blessing Dhubi, Knowledge Tundu, Lawrence Mapengo and Obey Maimbe were detained at Rujeko Police station before being transferred to Masvingo Central Police Station.
On 29 May, Arnold Batsirai was also picked at the Masvingo Civic Centre hall by detectives from the Law and Order section of Masvingo Central Police station. He was picked in connection with assaulting the Masvingo Polytechnic College Principal.
Thirty students were arrested in Chegutu on 21 May. The group of students were travelling to Gweru for a ZINASU General Council meeting. Twenty one students were later released leaving nine to spend the night in custody before being released the following day after paying fine. The nine are Trust Munyama, Lovemore Chagumaira, Kudakwashe Chitoro, Tashinga Mudzengi, Wellington Makombe and Harmony Chabuka were charged under the traffic Act.
Three student activists were arrested and assaulted by police at Avondale Police Station. On 19 May Tafadzwa Mugwadi, Terrence Makomeke and Noel Gotora were arrested at the University of Zimbabwe after addressing students at the begging of a new semester. They were assaulted by the University security guards before they were handed over to Avondale Police Station were the assaults continued. They were released after spending a night in custody without any charges preferred on them.
The month of May saw twenty five Bindura university students attending court three times. The students are facing charges of public violence and trial is continuing. The twenty five appeared in court on 11 May, 18 May and 28 May.
The ZINASU Secretary General Joshua Chinyere and seven others appeared in court on 8 May on charges of participating in an illegal gathering. The case was further remanded to 10 June.
On 20 May two Bulawayo student activists appeared for trial in the Bulawayo magistrate court. The two are facing charges under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) Chapter 9:23 for defeating the course of justice. Trial will resume on 8 June.
The Students Solidarity Trust (SST) regrets the assault of Masvingo Polytechnic College Mr Claver Nyamukapa by students protesting against examination fees. We urge the Minister of Higher Tertiary Education Dr Stan Mudenge to resolve these issues amicably leaving no room for violence. The retributive behaviour by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is not warranted let alone on students.
Source: Students Solidarity Trust (Solidiary)
Providing Solidarity to the Students Community and BeyondPost published in: Politics