By Thandiwe Garusa and Erica Jecha
FIVE more University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students were arrested Wednesday in connection with demonstrations against tuition fees hikes.
The five are Tinovimba Musengi, Hazel Gwande, Purpose Mangana, Tanyaradzwa Nzvimbo and Charles Moyo.
The five were still detained at Avondale Police Station by the time of publishing and set to appear in court.
Before that, 16 other learners were arrested Monday on the same charges of participating in the #feesmustfall protest at the institution.
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) leader, Allan Chipoyi told NewZimbabwe.com that there were serious clashes between police and students Wednesday.
“Since Monday, police have been looking for the organisers of the demonstration that happened and they arrested 16 students who have so far been freed.
“Today some students were trying to stop others from attending classes as they had agreed that they are staying home, and no one must attend lectures until the issue has been addressed.
“The police and UZ security started chasing away students and that is when the five students got arrested. It is unfair as no one knows if they were part of those who were trying to stop others or not,” Chipoyi said.
The firebrand students’ leader appealed for dialogue with the university administration on the way forward.
“The administration must understand that our parents are peasants and they do not afford such huge amounts of fees. We need dialogue with the administration on the way forward so we can agree on a more reasonable amount.”
The Zimbabwe Lawyer for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed the arrest and said they have since attended to the matter.
“In Zimbabwe, authorities have intensified onslaught against students by arresting more UZ students today over #feesmustfall protest. Our lawyers are at Avondale Police Station providing emergency legal support services,”
Undergraduate fees are now pegged between ZW$300 000 and $500 000 hiked from ZW$50 000, while some Master’s degree programmes pegged at close to ZW$1 million.
Meanwhile, two UZ students arrested and detained during the Monday protests were released on free bail Wednesday.
Thelma Nzero (19) and Tinotenda Mwenje (21) appeared before Harare Magistrate, Taurai Manuwere and were remanded out of custody to September 29.
They were part of 14 suspects that were detained at Avondale Police Station.
Their alleged accomplices were released Tuesday after paying ZW$2 000 admission of guilty fines at the police station for disorderly conduct.
They admitted to singing and behaving in a disorderly manner, which interrupted university business.