Student arrested over ‘step down Mugabe’ placard at graduation ceremony

Another university student has been ‘arrested’ for waving a placard asking President Robert Mugabe to step down during a university graduation ceremony in the town of Bulawayo

Advance Musoke, according to local media reports was the unfortunate person among about 14 others who waved the said placards but the others ‘escaped’ while he was picked up by unidentified men.

In September, another graduating student, Tonderai Dombo, and a colleague were arrested and hauled before court with the charge of “causing public disorder” for a similar protest at the university of Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugabe who is chancellor of all state universities was capping thousands of students at the National University of Science of Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, the second biggest city.

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Musoke and the others raised their placards in protest against joblessness. His arrest was corroborated by Makomborero Haruzivishe, the student union spokesperson, who told the BBC that Musoke was picked while the others managed to run away.

The country has been plunged into a series of protests which started with the #ThisFlag movement – a social media campaign led by one Pastor Ewan Mawarire. Since then, several groups have clashed with police in the capital during protests.

Some of the protests have been against economic hardships in the country which is suffering from an economic downturn compounded by the El Nino drought. An opposition parties alliance have also been holding protests calling for electoral reforms.

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Another group have taken to the streets against the government’s planned reintroduction of bond notes amid the economic crisis. The frequency of these protests and the clashes led to a police ban on protests in the capital, Harare, a decision that a court suspended days later.

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