FOLLOWING several cases of arrests and harassment of tertiary students and their union leaders, The Crisis Report had an interview with the Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Tapiwanashe Chiriga who expressed concern that students were under siege as the government has decided to label them as a “terrorist organisation”.
ZINASU President, Takudzwa Ngadziore was harassed by suspected state agents while addressing a press conference on September 18, 2020. Ngadziore was later arrested after the assault.
The suspected state agents also assaulted journalists who were covering the event.
On September 14, 2020, nine students from ZINASU were arrested at the Harare Magistrates Court.
The students had gone to show solidarity with Ngadziore in a case in which he is accused of staging a demonstration at a car hire company whose vehicles are allegedly being used to abduct opposition and civic society activists.
“We have been treated as a terrorist organisation by Mnangagwa who purports to be our Chancellor. It is however to be expected that fascist regimes in their twilight will out of paranoia persecute anyone who dares question their misgovernance.
“Our President (Ngadziore) is a victim of Zanu PF’s thuggish barbarism. Our entire leadership has been threatened, arrested or are under constant surveillance,” said Chiriga
He implored the government to consider students as key stakeholders in terms of democracy and economic development as well as to uphold academic freedom.
CiZC Position– “Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls for an end to persecution of student union leaders and we implore the government to respect and uphold academic freedom and other fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe.”