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ZINASU Secretary General languishes in Hwahwa prison

Zimbabwe National Students Union, (ZINASU) Secretary General, Tryvinne Musokeri who has been in Hwahwa Prison for the past three weeks was today, Monday 29 October 2012, further remanded in prison by a Gweru Magistrate.

The ZINASU Secretary General, a Second year Marketing student at the Midlands State University (MSU) was arrested on the 31st of September 2012 on contempt of court charges.

 

At the time of his arrest, Tryvinne had been attending court on charges emanating from contravening the nefarious Public Order and Security Act (POSA) when he missed an appearance in court, leading to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment on contempt of court charges. He was arrested with Believe Tevera and two other student activists also from Midlands State University (MSU) who were released two weeks ago after spending a week in prison. Believe Tevera, who wrote an article protesting their arrest and detention in Hwahwa, was today, 29 October served with a letter of suspension from the MSU, on charges related to the article, entitled "ZINASU Demands Release of Their Leader €. The Article was published in the News Day of the 23rd of October 2012. The letter that Tevera was served with suggests that he was inciting public violence through the Article. An excerpt from the letter dated 29 October 2012 reads:

"It has come to my attention that you violated the rules of student conduct and discipline, Ordinance

Number 2 of 2OO0, in that you published articles in the Newsday paper calling upon students of Midlands State University to go on a demonstration which was clearly a potential threat to the smooth functioning of the University at a time when the preparation for end of Semester examinations had reached a very advanced stage. Prima facie, there is a reasonable basis that you committed an act of misconduct given your influential position as a student leader €¦ ln terms of Section 8 (3) (d), of the University Act I do hereby suspend you from the University with immediate effect pending your appearance before the Student Disciplinary Committee. €

 

ZINASU President Pride Mukono condemned Tryvinne's detention as characteristic of the state's repression on students and academic rights defenders.

"The Zimbabwean state is averse to a vibrant Students Union, and vibrant Student leadership. What we have seen in the trials and tribulations that our Secretary General is having to go through has been done before to other students activists over the last decade. The intention is to muzzle students and intimidate activists into inaction. It hasn't worked in the past, and it will not work now. €

Musokeri's initial charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) arose over a demonstration he and his colleagues staged at Midlands State University (MSU) in 2011. The demonstration was in protest of the barring of Cadetship students from writing examinations after government failed to pay fees for students on Cadetship programme.

The Union's President, popularly known in his Union as 'Obama; further argued that

The fate and state of students has always been a macrocosm of the microcosm. What is happening to our SG is the same thing that is happening to other lovers of Democracy like Solomon Madzore and the Glenview 28, who have been languishing in prisons in Harare. The rogue GNU has failed to satisfy people's thirst for freedom, it has failed to provide free, quality education, and their own resort is to cage those who lead the people's calls for these things. But we remind them, that the voice of the people is the voice of God. It cannot be caged, it cannot be subjugated, and the shared fight will continue till our comrade and comrades are freed from unjustified imprisonment, and the aspirations of Zimbabweans are met.

The ZINASU Secretary General will appear again in court on Wednesday 31 October 2012, in Gweru.

 

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