The charges are that in October 2010, the students gathered at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) with the intention to incite public violence.
In the students’ defence, the students argue that they had gathered to discuss the pressing issues of examinations as students’ were being barred from sitting for their examinations by school authorities. Their trial was however postponed to August 10 after the state failed to bring its witnesses.
A continued pattern of student persecution by various college authorities around the country is evident as the case surrounding these activists is synonymous with cases in other parts of the country where the state has failed to get a conviction.
It is also a continuation of a worrying trend of harassment and lack of respect for the rule of law by authorities who continue to violate students’ rights to association and expression. Student activism is constantly deterred by authorities who want to control and suffocate the voices of the students.
Meanwhile one Bulawayo student activist, Patrick Danga also appeared today before a Bulawayo Magistrate facing charges under the criminal Law and [Codification and Reform Act] Chapter 9:23 for defeating the course of justice.
This was after his defence lawyer Lizwe Jamela of The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights [ZLHR] applied for a separation of trial since his co-accused Joram Chikwadze failed to turn up. The State opposed the application and the case was postponed to the 17th of August, in the hope that the co-accused will be available.
The Students Solidarity Trust (SST) therefore demands that the right to freedom of expression be respected. In any society there can never be a homogeneous frame of mind and therefore all voices should be listened to in order to provide a holistic representation of society.Post published in: Politics