Prince Sunduzani | Nust-ZW
2 min read
NUST students have expressed their joy over the resumption of lectures at the institution following a successful demonstration dubbed “Nust shut down” on Monday.
The students said they were happy that their plea for action had finally been considered.
“We are happy that finally our voice has been heard,” said Mzingaye Ncube a freshman at the university. “We lost a lot of time and I don’t know how we are going to be compensated for that. As students we must always speak with one voice on issues that affect us.”
“…we will continue to defend and protect our rights as students without fear..,”
Nust Student Representative Council president Mr Pablo Chimusoro, who was arrested by police during the protest said he was glad that the “university shutdown’ yielded results.
“We are happy that our voice has been heard and we will continue to defend and protect our rights as students without fear,” Chimusoro said. “The SRC will continue to ensure that the welfare of students is always accommodated for.”
On Monday, anti-riot police pounced on non violent, placard wielding students who were demanding an end to the lecturers strike.The police used water cannons and police dogs to disperse the students.
This reporter was also caught up in the incident and got itchy skin and eyes after he was sprayed with water from the cannons.
Police also went on to raid student’s rooms and arrested some students during the fracas and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights had to intervene.
“The 61 students who were picked up by the police were bailed out and we are now back at campus,” said Chimusoro. “We were asked to pay $5 fines for disorderly conduct charges after we were accused of contravening section 41 of the Criminal Law and Reform Act,”
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango defended the use of the water cannons which some student activists felt was excessive force.
“I’m aware that there was a demonstration at Nust and police had to use water cannons to disperse the students. The use of water cannons is one of the strategies to handle a mob,” Simango said.
Lecturers had been at loggerheads with the administration over alleged mismanagement of the institution, leading to industrial action that cost students over 4 weeks of learning time.