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71 STUDENT LEADERS RELEASED…..

Students Solidarity TrustINFORMATION ALERT

N0.2 of9 September 2006

71 STUDENT LEADERS RELEASED….. But…ZINASU PRESIDENT AND 6 MEMBERS OF HIS EXECUTIVE REMAIN LOCKED UP

After spirited effort to break the spirit of the students movement in Zimbabwe through unwarranted arrests and detentions, Police in Harare been forced to released 7 student leaders they were holding in custody, after failing to come up with charges, while Police in Mutare have also had to release 63 of the student leaders they had detained at the Wise Owl hotel under spurious charges of contravening sections of the Public Order and Security Act, an illegitimate law which curtails the peoples of Zimbabwe rights to association amongst other things.

Theft at the Hands of the Law

The seven student leaders who were being held in cells at Harare Central Police Station where released with the aid, of T.Mugabe, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights, at about 1615 today, but report that besides the police confiscating signed petitions from students and parents, mostly from Zimbabwe's Masvingo province which had about 6400 signatures condemning the fees at universities and secondary schools, they also took, and did not return, clothing, and money amounting to about ZW60, 000.00 which the students had left in the room they were picked up from.

ZINASU's Top Leadership Likely to spend rest of Weekend in police Custody

.The spirited efforts of Human rights Lawyers Mr. Mafume, who is also the Secretary of Board for the Zimbabwe national Students Union, and Mr. Trust, a lawyer in Mutare, were able to secure the release of the 63 students, however police remain adamant, on the issues of releasing the ZINASU President Promise Mkwananzi, and the 6 members of his executive, whom they have now put into police cells, since the premise on which they were being detained was the same as the 63 who were released. The only 3 members of the national executive council of ZINASU who are not in custody in Mutare are those, who had been in custody in Harare.

Clear Political Motivations Behind the Arrests

It has also emerged quite clearly, that it was not the intentions of the police to uphold, law and order or to protect Public order in Mutare. One Assistant Police Inspector Butiza, after being asked under which law they had effected the arrests, detentions, and continued detention of the remaining seven, quipped that the law had no jurisdiction on the matter, and in a few words, alleged that the students Union, could not expect to come and plot the down fall of the government in its own hinterland and strong hold. The fact that the detention have no merit at law, or even common sense notions of it, is augmented by the fact the Police, including the Officer in Charge, at Mutare Central Police Station where the Mkwananzi and the other 6 are being held, have professed that they do not have the slightest clue as to what to hold the 7 under, and have simply stated that they are waiting for orders from above.

In Prison, but the Prison not in them

When the 7 members of the ZINASU executive where given food this evening, they were reported to be in high spirits, with the President leading members of the ZINASU executive in singing revolutionary songs, and claiming that though they might be in Prison, the Prison was not in them. However there are bound to be some despairing situations, as they are reported to have been put in squalid cell, whose very sight shouts out loud, the words health hazard, a situation similar to the one that those who were being held in Harare together with common thieves were being made to stay in.

Call for Solidarity

The Zimbabwe National Students Union, and the Students Solidarity Trust, would like ton urge all those who can, to help in putting pressure on the Mutare Police, as the continued incarceration of the ZINASU President, and 6 members of the ZINASU's National Executive Council is unwarranted, and without merit, as those have not broken one single law, even amongst the illegitimate, rouge laws that the government of Zimbabwe has promulgated. Those who can are urged to call, Mutare Central police Station, and ask to speak to Assistant Inspector Butiza or the Officer in Charge Mutare Central District, and demand the release of Promise, and 6 student leaders he is being held with, on the following numbers:

00263-20-64212 , 00263-20-66881 , Officer In Charge: 00263-20-61042,00263-20-65645 --MCDONALD LEWANIKACoordinatorStudents Solidarity Trust4 Admiral Tait Road, Marlborough, Harare, Zimbabwe sst@africaonline.co.zw www.studentsolidarity.org

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