By Michelle Gwizi
Police in Bulawayo had to call reinforcements to contain rowdy Lupane State University students who tried to prevent officers from taking their arrested leader to a police station.
Police arrested six students and a member of the public who had joined the demonstrating students at the institution’s premises in Bulawayo on Monday.
Jongumuzi Lobati (who is not a student at the university), the president of the Student’s Representative Council (SRC) at LSU, Silas Makusha, Marbe Nkonzo, Ayanda Nkomo, Emkela Ngwenya, Winston Mukombwe and Hloniphani Sibanda yesterday appeared before Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi facing charges of disorderly conduct in a public place and trying to obstruct the course of justice.
They all pleaded not guilty.
Mr Mkhwananzi remanded the accused on free bail to March 28 for commencement of trial.
Mr Njabulo Mhlanga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented all the seven accused persons.
Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said on Monday, Makusha went to LSU and was asked to produce his identity card before entering the university premises.
“He refused to produce the card and turned violent. He allegedly insulted and punched the guard once on his face asking him who he thought he was to ask him to produce an ID,” said Mr Dlodlo.
The court heard that police were called in and they arrested Makusha.
When they were escorting him to Bulawayo Central Police Station on foot, about 40 students from LSU confronted the police officers and demanded his immediate release.
“The students blocked the police officers’ way and Lobati joined the students and supported them in denouncing the police action.
“Reinforcements were called, leading to the arrest of some of the students and Lobati,” said Mr Dlodlo. The Chronicle