Riot Police Called to Disperse Student Protest at Adventist University in Zimbabwe
October 26, 2017: Solusi University authorities called riot police to disperse a crowd of students protesting a fee hike at the Adventist university in Zimbabwe on Thursday, October 19.
According to Zimbabwe’s Chronicle, Solusi students had boycotted classes last week in protest of the raised school fees.
The students at the Adventist institution were protesting a USD 90 fee increase labeled as a “development levy.”
Current fees are set at USD 900 per semester for students of the humanities and business and USD 1000 per semester for those studying science.
The university called the riot police as the protesting students demanded to speak with vice-chancellor Joel Musvosvi to raise their concerns.
Zimbabwe’s News Day reported that student groups around the country protested the fact that five students accused of inciting fellow students to protest were suspended by Solusi.
Godknows Mdhari, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) said that the body had deployed lawyers to challenge Solusi’s decision to suspend the student leaders.
“The university has so far been cooperating well in handling the matter and we expect normality to return at the institution very soon,” Mdhari said to News Day.
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) is vowing legal action against Solusi. The union’s president, Alister Pfunye, promised action to return the suspended student leaders to campus and said the union would “sue the dean of students in person for an illegal act with his administration in sending away the student who are defending academic freedoms.”
Solusi University is an Adventist institution that has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1894. It was the nation’s first private institution of higher education. It is located in the outskirts of Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe. Over 4,500 students are enrolled at the university.