CHINHOYI — Nine students at Chinhoyi University of Technology were arrested on Thursday after they allegedly led a group of other students to demonstrate against an increase in meal prices at Mashonaland West province’s highest institution of learning.
They spent the weekend in police custody and are likely to appear in court soon.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara confirmed the arrests to NewsDay and said the students were going to be charged with inciting violence at the university.
“Police arrested nine students at the university who wanted to incite violence.
“It is a criminal offence to incite violence and we are going to charge the nine. As the police, we will never let students engage in violent behaviour,” he said.
It is alleged the students went to the university dining hall on Thursday afternoon around 2pm and learnt that the price of sadza had been increased from 50c to $1 per plate.
This did not go down well with them, resulting in Munyaradzi Makunike (25) and Luke Maenzanise (24) allegedly inciting other students to demonstrate against the increase.
The two were later taken by the university security personnel who contacted the police, leading to their arrest.
The arrest of the two reportedly irked other students who started shouting at the police, demanding their colleagues’ release.
Police then came and arrested the other seven, Benon Mutema (24), Prosper Mutimbe (21), Gilbert Chihwayi (24), Manu Yawadu (24), Tonderai Munjengwa (22), MacDonald Jakarasi (21) and Sekete Lenience Paidamoyo (21).
Chinhoyi University of Technology director of information and public relations Musekiwa Tapera confirmed the arrests.
“Yes, I can confirm there was a small skirmish and we had to call in the police to quell the disturbance,” said Tapera