Hands Off Our Students-Govt Told
The Zimbabwean government has been called upon to respect the rights of students and stop arbitrary arrests of union leaders as the country’s civil space continue to shrink.
This follows the arrest of the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) president, Takudzwa Ngadziore and 30 other activists last week for allegedly inciting violence during a protest at Impala Car rentals.
Ngadziore has since been released on a ZWL$2 000 bail while the other student leaders were also freed on bail yesterday.
In a statement, the National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) said the government must respect and uphold the rights of students and other non-state actors exercising freedoms to association and assembly
“The continued criminalization of these rights goes against the dictates of the Constitution and set international human rights laws;
“We (urge) the Government of Zimbabwe to release from incarceration jailed student activists and for related Courts in Zimbabwe to expedite cases relating to the exercise of freedoms to association and assembly, delays in justice act as deterrents to exercise of civil and political rights by all,” reads part of the statement.
Recently, Kenyan Professor, Patrick Lumumba, urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to release Ngadziore.
“President E.D. Mnangagwa we hear the young TAKUDZWE NGADZIORE may be in custody. We beseech you to order his immediate release,” he posted on his Twitter page.
Meanwhile, NAYO says the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission must undertake a National Inquiry into violations relating to the exercise of freedoms to assembly and association since the onset of the National Lockdown to curb COVID-19 to guide institutional reform and practice of State Institutions implementing measures in response to a National Disaster.