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Zimbabwe group says two students arrested after Mugabe protest

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe  / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT

Zimbabwean police on Thursday arrested two student activists who demonstrated against President Robert Mugabe as he presided over a university graduation ceremony, a spokesman for the protesters said.

Promise Mkwananzi, spokesman for the Tajamuka protest movement, said that one student had held up a sign condemning mass unemployment and another had shouted out that Mugabe was the “devil”.

“I can confirm that two of our members were arrested during the graduation ceremony at the University of Zimbabwe and they are still in police custody,” Mkwananzi told AFP.

He said Tonderai Dombo had held up a sign saying “Graduate Today. Jobless Tomorrow”, while Gift Chuma was accused of shouting at Mugabe during the event.

“The government thinks the president should not be criticised and yet he should be criticised more than anyone else because he is accountable for the current mess,” Mkwananzi said.

The brief protests were the latest in a series of anti-government demonstrations as Zimbabwe’s economic crisis deepens and public frustration grows over Mugabe’s 36-year autocratic rule.

Among the protest groups at rallies in recent months have been university graduates who wore their gowns and caps to show their anger at the lack of jobs.

The street protests prompted police to ban demonstrations in the capital Harare.

On Thursday, Mugabe, 92, conferred degrees on 3,667 graduates.

The police were not immediately available to comment on Thursday’s arrests.

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Robert MugabeZimbabwe


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