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Zimbabwe University Students Targeted As State Quells Dissent


Zimbabwe continued its clampdown on students Wednesday, as three students from Bindura University of Science and Education in Mashonaland Central, said they have been forced to go into hiding, following threats on their lives by state security agents.

The three students, Moreblessing Mabhunu, Chiedza Gadzirayi and Tinashe Madamombe, said they received death threats over the phone from state security agents, for their alleged involvement with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, and the Bindura Residents Association.

The students said the security agents told them that their attendance at an MDC rally over the weekend, and their participation in the Bindura Residents Association is an insult to ZANU-PF political commissar Elliot Manyika, who is the party's Member of Parliament for the Mashonaland Central constituency. The state agents reportedly told the students they were operating in a "no go territory."

The threats follow a spate of expulsions, suspensions, arrests and beatings of students and student leaders.

Senior Programs Manager for the Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition, Phillipp Pasirayi, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that the increased crackdown reflects a fear of growing discontent in the student movement.

Meanwhile in Harare Tuesday, Vice Chancellor Levy Nyagura of the University of Zimbabwe, is said to have expelled Terrence Chimhavi, a candidate for the presidency of the Students Executive Council, and nine others, because they took part in last week’s disturbances at the University, which resulted in extensive damage to property.

Some of the suspended students included Sambulo Mathema, the secretary-general of the Students Executive Council and others, namely Roicki Chikate, Kudakwashe Mapundu, Shingai Kunoziva, Dominic Shumba.

Mathema told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that the expulsion and suspension letters were delivered Monday, but proper procedures were not followed.

In other student related news, two University of Zimbabwe students - Prosper Munatsi, who heads the university's Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe and member Munyaradzi Chikorohondo, were finally released Wednesday, after their May 10 arrest, at a demonstration at the University of Zimbabwe. A high court ordered their release Tuesday.

More Reports From VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe...

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