Human Lives Human Rights: Authorities must drop sinister charges against University of Zimbabwe students who have been peacefully protesting high fees and affirm their right to freedom of assembly and expression.
#FeesMustFall protests broke out at the University of Zimbabwe on Monday 12 September 2022 as students demonstrated against the university tuition fee hikes.
The hike in fees risks forcing many students to abandon their studies thus potentially violating their right to education.
It is tragic that these students are having to spend time in detention and courtrooms for simply asking for affordable education.
Police arrested 14 students at the University of Zimbabwe on 12 September 2022 after they embarked on peaceful #FeesMustFall demonstrations against high tuition fee hikes by the university.
While five more students were arrested on 14 September, and taken to Avondale police station and face charges of “disorderly conduct”, some of those who were arrested on 12 September appeared in court on yesterday.
The arrests of these students, who were protesting peacefully, are a violation of their right to protest.
Authorities must respect students’ right to peaceful protest and drop all charges against them.
The university recently announced a staggering increase in tuition fees of up to 1000% requiring undergraduate students to pay up to ZWD500 000 from around ZWD50 000 depending on their faculty, which is equivalent to about $900USD at the interbank rate of 12 September.
Students have described the increase in fees as unaffordable and beyond the reach of their parents and guardians and vowed to boycott lectures until the university reverses its decision.