Harare – THE trial of 12 Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) activists was postponed to the first three days of April after some of the students failed to attend court in time due to logistical challenges on Wednesday morning.
The students were arrested, detained and allegedly assaulted in custody by police for staging a peaceful protest, calling for extension of the deadline for paying registration fees at Harare Polytechnic College in February 2014.
Gift Mtisi, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who is representing the students, said those who failed to attend were issued with warrants of arrest, while others later arrived when there was time to have warrants cancelled.
He said that if the students had attended, the matter would have been postponed as some of the state papers had not been submitted to the defense counsel.
“If my clients had attended, the matter would have still been postponed because the state papers had not been fully furnished to me.
“I have since been given the full state papers, but I would have still needed time to look at them,” Mtisi said.
Meanwhile, Mtisi said the students who were issued warrants of arrests will not receive their bail money if they are acquitted since it has been surrendered to the state due to the absence.
Students across the country who are at state institutions continue to struggle to raise tuition fees and sustain their daily needs amid little government support after government scrapped loans and grants over five years ago, which has repeatedly sparked demonstrations at several institutions across the country.