“Education may conceivably be, as of right, the instrument whereby every individual, in a society like our own, can gain access to any kind of discourse. But we well know that in its distribution, in what it permits and in what it prevents, it follows the well-trodden battle-lines of social conflict. Every educational system is a political means of maintaining or of modifying the appropriation of discourse, with the knowledge and the powers it carries with it.” – Michel Foucalt
The above quote addresses the importance of an education in any given society, with Zimbabwe being included in this classification. The National University of Science and Technology (NUST), witnessed the first ever student-led demonstration after Zimbabwe sworn into office a new government on the 24th of November 2017. Following Monday’s demonstration that was code-named #NustShutdown, students in pursuit of their right of access to education which was infringed upon, went riot and disturbed the flow of both human and vehicular traffic. The police responded by arresting some of the demonstrating students.
As NUST students peacefully fought for their rights to be observed, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) violently dispersed the crowd and some of the students were injured and rushed to the hospital. Such a ruthless move by ZRP was uncalled for, particularly at a time when the country is preparing for the 2018 Elections.
As Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), we do not condone the act of violence that NUST students were exposed to in a country founded on values and principles of the supremacy of the Constitution, transparency, justice, accountability, and responsiveness.
We, therefore, call upon the Zimbabwean government to be sensitive to the plight of its citizens and to be always responsive to the dissenting voices of its citizenry.
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