Students acquitted

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A Bindura magistrate has acquitted 21 students arrested in January after they demonstrated against authorities at Bindura University of Science Education.
The students wanted results of examinations they sat last year but the institution insisted they paid outstanding fees first.
The students were acquitted at the close of the state’s case when their lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) applied for discharge.
The magistrate said the state witnesses failed to directly implicate 21 of the 28 students charged.
Seven students, including student leader Joshua Chinyere, were however put to their defence.
Zhuwarara on Tuesday filed an application for discharge of the seven remaining students on the grounds that the evidence led by the state was contradictory, unreliable and insufficient. In his application Zhuwarara said the witnesses’ statements were inconsistent, insufficient and an attempt to create and fabricate evidence. Ruling is expected on July 30.
Meanwhile, 10 students from the National University of Science and Technology who were accused of similar charges in April 2009 have also been removed from remand.
Two of the students, Kennedy Chizama and Christopher Hwacha, who have since graduated from the institution, were issued with warrants of arrest by Bulawayo magistrate Rose Dube after they failed to appear in court.