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The weekly Vanguard

The weekly Vanguard - Voice of the voicelessContact; +263 91 301 23119-09-2006a Zinasu publication


Ambush at Palm lodge

..But struggle will always be our birthright


In the early hours of Friday 8 September 2006, at Palm lodge, three ZINASU National Executive Council (NEC) and five General Council (GC) members were ambushed by the state security agents, leading to their arrest and detention at the notorious Harare Central Police Station. The ZINASU Executive and General Council members were holding a preparatory meeting towards the second ZINASU General Council meeting to be held in Mutare the following day. The arrested student leaders were, Gideon Chitanga, the ZINASU Vice President; Beloved Chiweshe, ZINASU Secretary General; Milward Makwenjere, ZINASU Legal and Social Affairs, and 5 other ZINASU General Councillors. The arrested were savagely tortured and brutally assaulted by hired vagabonds who were masquerading as police officers. They accused them of planning an ‘illegal’ protest in conjuction with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). ZINASU Secretary General, Beloved Chiweshe was further interrogated by the Law and Order Officers, accused of having previously issued some ‘anti-new fee structure’ fliers at the Midlands State University in Gweru on the 14th of March 2006. The arrested student leaders were detained in inhabitable holding cells and later released the following day without a charge.


Riot police storm Wise Owl Motel

…But we know that time is on the side of the truth, and victory belongs to the fearless!


MUTARE- Despite the harsh treatment and calculated detention of some ZINASU Executive and General Council members at the Harare Central Police Station, the ZINASU General Council meeting was however held in Mutare at the Wise Owl Motel on the 9th of September 2006. The General Council meeting was aiming at coming up with practical and workable strategies against the resolutions made at the Congress and the first General Council meeting. The strategies included the methodologies, timeframes and deadlines of the activities lined up in the Defending the Academic Freedoms campaign. Prior to the General Council meeting, a human rights defenders workshop was facilitated, targeting on equipping the student leadership of the roles of the students as Human Rights Defenders.

A presentation by the ZINASU Board Secretary; Mr. Jacob Mafume, emphasized on the challenges faced by the student leadership when addressing national political issues that both directly and indirectly affect the students welfare. Mr. Mafume stressed on the issue that students should not only actively participate but also champion in seeking address to national socio-economic and particularly political issues. All the General Councillors therein present overwhelmly welcomed the remarks made by the Board Secretary. In the progression of the determined General Council meeting, the RIOT police STORMED the Wise Owl Motel, leading to the disruption and stoppage of the meeting. The ZINASU National Executive Council members were subsequently identified, surrounded and arrested. The General Council members were ordered to disperse immediately with the enforcement of heavily armed riot police with guns, dogs and button sticks. All the advocacy material including the ZINASU Banner and information packs were confiscated. The arrested NEC members were then released on Monday 11 September 2006 after being made to pay fines of Z$250-00 each, after serious interrogations, torture, denial of food and legal representation, despite tireless efforts by the prominent lawyers Trust Maanda and Tinoziva Bere.


Together in arms ZCTU – ZINASU

-the regime can beat and kill the revolutionaries, but it cannot kill the revolution……

HARARE-The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on the 13th of September 2006 staged a peaceful march in various cities and towns of Zimbabwe. These include the capital city Harare, where the ZINASU leadership joined arms with ZCTU leadership in taking up an active role in the mobilization and participation on the peaceful march that was demanding the resuscitation of workers dignity and pride. Thousands of Zimbabwean civilians turned up at the Construction House to stage on the streets of Harare Capital a peaceful march, but who were however intimidated and harassed by some hired touts masquerading as ZANU PF youth league, wearing ZANU PF T-Shirts and some Border Gezi products police officers, who were armed to the teeth. Determined union leaders such as Wellington Chibebe, ZCTU Secretary General; Lovemore Matombo, ZCTU President; Raymond Majongwe, PTUZ Secretary General; Lucia Mativenga, ZCTU Vice President; Benjamin Nyandoro, ZINASU Programmes Officer and other union members, went to the streets seeking address to the workers plight. The illegitimate forces pounced on the worthy partaking protest leading to the arrest and detention of 34 union leaders and members, Chibebe, Matombo, Mativenga, Majongwe and Nyandoro included. Union leaders were inhumanly tortured, assaulted, abused and detained in holding cells unfit for human habitation. The arrested were denied food and contact with their lawyers.

They were however brought before the courts on Friday 15 September 2006 after an urgent High Court application was made and they were released on Z$20 000.00 bail. The ZINASU Programmes Officer, Benjamin Nyandoro was interviewed after being released from the custody of the ruthless regime forces. He said, “I was actually rejuvenated when I saw Comrades in their numbers at the Courts, singing solidarity songs, mushandi shinga, giving a true and national reflection that our peaceful march was and is of national interest, and the arrests and detentions were illegitimate.” He further reiterated that students shall join arms with all other strategic allies which resonate with students’ national agenda and as well pioneer its own actions in combined bid to bring the crisis in Zimbabwe to an end. The trade union leaders and activists were represented by Messrs Alec Muchadehama, Andrew Makoni, Tafadzwa Mugabe and Ms Sarudzai Njerere. The ZINASU President, Mr. P. Mkwananzi was also picked up by the University of Zimbabwe security guards after an instruction from Avondale and Harare Central police station. He was sent to Avondale police for interrogation and later transferred to Harare Central police station. He was assalted in these two police stations and later released without any charge after a lawyer Mr. Nkomo challenged his unlawful arrest and detention.


Masvingo solidarity protests


MASVINGO- Students at the Masvingo State University and other surrounding colleges, on the 14th of September 2006, combined efforts and staged a demonstration in the city of Masvingo. The demonstration was coming in solidarity with other arrested comrades at the ZCTU peaceful march, demanding their release since the arrest was illegitimate, and also seeking address to day to day students’ grievances, thus including the tuition fees hike by the irresponsible and vampire government of Zimbabwe. The National statistics on the students drop outs has risen to about 15 students per college every semester, who then resort to engage in temporary teaching hoping to raise money for the exorbitant tuition fees, but alas, Students in Masvingo vowed to continue with these demonstrations until and unless there is a proper redress of national problems, which they feel are contributory to other attribute problems.


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