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Zimbabwe Student Union Leader Locked Up Over Protests

  • Tatenda Gumbo

The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has condemned the arrest and detention of its secretary general Tryvine Musokeri saying charges laid against him are politically-motivated.

Musokeri, who was arrested with six other ZINASU members at the Harare magistrates court where they were supporting 29 Movement for Democratic Change activists arrested in Harare’s Glen View suburb in connection with the death of a policeman, appreared before a Gweru magistrate yesterday.

He was remanded to an indefinite stay at Hwahwa Maximum Remand Prison.

Musokeri is expected to be further detained for contempt of court after failing to attend a case stemming from the sentencing of University of Zimbabwe lecturer Munyaradzi Gwisai and 40 others who were accused of attempting to overthrow the Zimbabwean government – Egypt-style.

The ZINASU leader was accused of celebrating the release of the 41 political activists.

In a statement, ZINASU said it fears for Musokeri's life "given the fact that Hwahwa like many detention centres around the country have no access to clean water or ablution facilities which can potentially lead to an outbreak of such diseases as cholera and typhoid which are fatal in prisons where basic health care is nonexistent."

Musokeri and other students were also planning to stage protests over the government’s failed cadetship scheme which has left scores of students nationwide with huge debts.

ZINASU spokesman Zachariah Mushawatu told VOA they are working with their lawyers to have Musokeri removed from remand prison.