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Three Students Cleared In University of Zimbabwe Disciplinary Hearing

Eight student leaders at the University of Zimbabwe were summoned Wednesday to a disciplinary proceeding by university Vice Chancellor Levy Nyagura to face charges that they led a violent protest in July against the closure of residence halls.

The UZ Student Representative Council said university officials failed to complete the hearings in one day, having failed to produce statements by security personnal.

The cases of student activists Thabani Moyo, Manifest Jabuli and Tatenda Chiuya were heard in the first day of the hearing. Sources said charges against Moyo and Jabuli were withdrawn for lack of evidence while Chiuya was acquitted.

The cases of Student Representative Council President Lovemore Chinoputsa, Vice President Sean Matsheza, Legal Affairs Secretary Fortune Chamba, and students Ceasar Sitiya and Shadreck Vengesai were adjourned until Nov. 7.

In July, Nyagura ordered police to evict an estimated 5,000 students from residence halls on grounds they were unfit to inhabit, leaving thousands sleeping in the open.

Students staged protests over what human rights activists called a humanitarian crisis.

Secretary General Beloved Chiweshe of the Zimbabwe National Students Union told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that many students see the hearing as a way of intimidating students now reduced to vagrants.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...