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40 STUDENTS ARRESTED IN BULAWAYO

More than 500 students from colleges in Bulawayo staged a peaceful march from the City Hall to the Governor’s office at Mhlahlandlela Government complex today. The students were demanding an immediate reversal and review of the current Education Policy which has turned all institutions of higher and tertiary learning into commercial business entities. Tuition fees are sky rocketing every semester beyond the reach of the generality of the student populace. Students from Bulawayo Colleges marched in the streets of Bulawayo bringing business of the day to a halt. The march was led by the ZINASU President, Promise Mkwananzi and the Secretary General, Beloved Chiweshe, who made an address to the students and the general public urging them to remain resilient in demanding their rights to education, food, health and shelter as fundamental. The President further read the petition which was to be presented to the Governor, which outlined the demands for quality and affordable education. The President led the peaceful march to the Governor’s office to submit the petition where the overzealous state security and police went riotous on the students leading to the arrest of about 40 students including the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) SRC President, Clever Bere. The arrested students have been detained at the Bulawayo Central Police station and are being denied legal representation. The Police are still out looking for Promise Mkwananzi and Beloved Chiweshe demanding their arrest and detention.

Meanwhile ……..

12 Students including ZINASU Vice President, Gideon Chitanga, were on the 23rd of October 2006, arrested and detained by police at Masvingo State University (MASU) for holding a general meeting, which was termed Unsanctioned. The ZINASU Vice President was arrested for calling and addressing a general meeting whose agenda was to articulate on the deepening crisis at MASU, other state institutions and the nation as a whole. The meeting was then disrupted by the campus security and the state police after the students demanded an address from the Vice Chancellor concerning the short notice postponement of the scheduled SRC elections. The other 8 students including the ZINASU Vice President were later released but the police further detained the four aspiring candidates for the MASU SRC elections. The four are still being interrogated for their association with ZINASU. They are expected to appear in court today, charged with breach of peace and inciting public violence under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

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