Student Is Killed and Others Are Injured in Protests at U. of Zimbabwe

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Monday, April 16, 2001



An undergraduate at the University of Zimbabwe was killed last week during student protests. Students charge that he was beaten to death by riot police.


Students have been protesting government delays in paying grants. The student, Batanai Hadzizi, was killed on April 8 during clashes between students and police officers.


Charles Mugaviri, acting dean of students and a Methodist minister at the university, said several students witnessed the fatal beating. Police officials said that Mr. Hadzizi was trampled by students fleeing tear gas. But Mr. Mugaviri said there was no stampede.


Police officers arrested 41 students during the protests, but they were released two days later.


The president of the Students' Representative Council reported that one student was still in a coma after jumping from his second-story window when police officers fired tear gas into his dormitory room. Ten other students were seriously injured and remained hospitalized a week after the protests.


Last Monday, after the arrests, the police sealed off the main campus.


Student leaders said that the protests were triggered by the suicide of a female student who was believed to have been involved with an older man paying her for sex. Wealthy men in Harare often pay impoverished female students for sex, the students said, and that trend has increased the spread of AIDS. The woman's death was viewed as a sign of the desperation faced by students who have gone several months without grants from the Education Ministry.


Copyright 2001 by The Chronicle of Higher Education