Normalcy returns at Nust, students released
By Nyaradzo Bakari
Lecturers at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) resumed work yesterday, with police saying they had released 58 students who had been arrested for staging a demonstration at the institution.
Nust’s director of marketing and communication Mr Felix Moyo yesterday confirmed the resumption of lectures at the university.“Lectures resumed today (yesterday). We sent a team to go and assess the situation. Students and lecturers are back in lecture rooms. In cases where students were few it could have been because they were not sure whether yesterday’s developments were going to continue today,” he said.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said the 58 students were arrested, fined and released after the Monday protest.
“I can confirm that we arrested 58 Nust students on charges of conduct likely to provoke the breach of peace. The students had blocked the Bulawayo-Gwanda road, denying vehicles access to the route that is why police had to intervene. They were all released after paying $5 fine each,” she said.
However, Nust student representative council president Mr Pablo Chimusoro, who was among those arrested, said 61 students were arrested.
“61 of us were picked up by the police and we were only released after paying a $5 fine each.
“Sadly among us were 17 who were injured due to police brutality. Police set dogs on us and some of our colleagues were bitten and had to be rushed to an emergency medical centre in the city centre for treatment,” he said.Mr Chimusoro expressed gratitude to relatives, friends and well-wishers who paid their fines, ensuring that none of them slept in police cells.
Those arrested were among the scores of students who ‘shut down’ the university demanding resumption of lectures after spending a month without lectures.
This was after lecturers embarked on an industrial strike protesting alleged mismanagement at Nust.
The students barricaded all the university’s entry points demanding that management and lecturers resolve their impasse.
Chaos outside Nust attracted anti-riot police, who used water cannons to disperse the students resulting in arrests. The Chronicle