Twelve members of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), who were arrested at the Harare Polytechnic on Monday for staging public protests, are expected to appear in court Wednesday to face charges of participating in what authorities say was an illegal gathering.
ZINASU spokesman Avoid Masiraha says the arrested students, who include the national body’s leader Gilbert Mutubuki, secretary general Obey Sithole, treasurer Tamutswa Chikonyera, are currently in custody at Harare Police Station.
Masiraha says the students will challenge their arrest in the courts claiming they have a right to hold meetings of their choice.
“I visited them at the police station and indications are that they are very much willing to defence themselves because they did not commit any offence. It is their right to defend academic freedom and any form of oppression,” he said.
They were arrested after protesting against a move by the Harare Polytechnic to send home students who have not paid college tuition.
Police and Harare Polytechnic officials declined to comment.