10 arrested as cops violently break trainee teachers protest

Zimstar News

Anti-riot police Monday brutally broke a protest and arrested 10 students at Belvedere Teachers College with one female participant reportedly injured in the incident.

Dozens of college students led by Walter Mzamani of the Council of Student Teachers converged from different local colleges in Harare to protest a fee hike by the learning institution amid reports college authorities were turning away students for non-payment.

Police swooped on the demonstrators and started beating up the students with batons, sending them scattering all over the place.

At least 10 of their colleagues were arrested.

Reports say a female student who took part in the protest hurt her spine.

Lawyers have been hired to follow up on the arrested students.

According to the Poverty Liberation Movement, the march was against the “contemptible actions by Teachers Colleges and Polytechnics nationwide that are barring students from writing examinations due to unpaid fees”.

“One of the grievances raised by the students is the corrosive corruption and nepotism at public institutions which not only hinder service delivery, but also push the poor to the periphery of service delivery,” said the pressure group.

“In this economic environment wherein people are earning far below the Total Consumptive Poverty line, government institutions have gone on a crusade to punish the poor for being poor.

“To then demand the right to education, government responds with brutality.

“We call for solidarity from all progressive citizens, students and institutions towards those arrested and amplifying their calls for equal access of education for all.

“We would like to warn the government of Zimbabwe that it’s continued indifference and adamancy over the calls for a just governance and equitable distribution of resources shall only result in a swift and extraordinary action by the people.”