Sixteen University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students were arrested Monday for participating in a protest that erupted at the Mt Pleasant campus to press for a cut in tuition fees.
The group is expected to appear at the Harare Magistrates Court Wednesday.
The students, who include nearly a dozen females, were still in police custody by the time of publishing.
Although Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not comment on the matter, sources told NewZimbabwe.com the suspects were smoked out from hostels using evidence of pictures circulating on social media.
The students led by the President of the Student’s Representative Council (SRC), Allan Chipoyi, who confirmed the arrests, held protests on campus threatening to boycott classes until the fees were reduced back to last semester levels.
Undergraduate fees were hiked from ZW$50 000 to between ZW$300 000 and $500 000, while some Master’s degree learners would need to pay ZW$1 million.
According to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) three students leaders were assaulted while in police detention.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has condemned the arrests saying students should not be treated as criminals.
“The number of students arrested as at Monday UZ demo has risen to 16. We continue to call for the unconditional release of the students, who we believe have no case to answer for all they did was to peacefully demand
for affordable university fees,” said CiZC.