TEN University of Zimbabwe students and four Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) executive members were on Wednesday arrested for causing public disorder after convening a meeting outside UZâ€™s main library to discuss tuition fees.
The 10 students have since been released, while the four Zinasu leaders â€” Clever Bere, Kudakwashe Chakabva, Archieford Mudzengi and Brian Kagodoro, were still in police custody.
The students leadersâ€™ lawyer Jeremiah Bamu yesterday said: â€œMy understanding is that they are being charged for disorderly conduct in public. Their crime is addressing students and distributing â€œTake Chargeâ€ T-shirts.Â
One of the students said he was picked up for just wearing a â€œTake Chargeâ€ T-shirt.â€
The T-shirts are distributed by the National Constitutional Assembly as part of its â€œTake Chargeâ€ campaign to oppose the parliament-led constitution-making process.
When the Zimbabwe Independent visited the college on Wednesday â€” two days after it was re-opened â€” there was little activity with most students busy sorting out administrative issues while others were still arriving.
Efforts to get a comment from police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday were in vain.
Zinasu spokesperson Blessing Vava said the arrests were â€œa clear indication that freedom of expression on campuses is still to be guaranteed in this countryâ€ despite formation of the inclusive government in February.
BY WONGAI ZHANGAZHA