Mawarire, medical students’ leader get bail

Source: Mawarire, medical students’ leader get bail – DailyNews Live

Tarisai Machakaire      29 June 2017

HARARE – #ThisFlag movement leader Evan Mawarire and a medical students’
leader appeared in court yesterday for allegedly participating in a
demonstration against steep fees hike at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).

Mawarire, 40, and Ocean Chihota, 34, appeared before Harare magistrate
Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with participating in a gathering with intent
to promote public violence, breach of peace or bigotry.

They were released on $200 bail each and remanded to July 19 pending the
commencement of their trial.

Following the publication of a circular by UZ authorities on June 26 to
expel medical students from campus for failing to pay fees, Mawarire,
Chihota and other students allegedly hatched a plan to violently act
against the development, the State claims.

The court heard that they organised and gathered medical students urging
them to confront Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura in a bid to force him to
stop implementing the new tuition fee structure.

Mawarire, Chihota and other students allegedly marched towards Nyagura’s
office while holding placards inscribed “fees must fall”, “my father is a
teacher, tongoda 1 percent of the 15 billion inokwana”, “my mother is a
vendor, tohurira (should we prostitute for )fees here?”

According to State papers, the students became violent and pelted UZ
security personnel with stones.

UZ security tried to restrain them from demonstrating, the court heard.

It was alleged that the students were later overpowered by security
details using batons.

At that moment, the courts heard Mawarire and Chihota were urging the
students stop being peaceful and conduct themselves violently to force
government and UZ to reverse their decision on fees.

Police officers reacted to the scene and Mawarire and Chihota were
apprehended allegedly intending to flee in a car, the court heard.