Academics arrested in Zimbabwe protests

November 28, 2003

John Makumbe, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe and head of the local branch of Transparency International, has been arrested just weeks after warning that civil society was to become the next target of government repression.

Professor Makumbe was one of about 100 trade union and civil society activists arrested last week when police broke up peaceful protests against rights abuses and economic collapse.

The academics included Brian Raftopoulos, chair of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and an associate professor at the university's Institute of Development Studies, and Lovemore Madhuku, a law lecturer and head of the National Constitutional Assembly, a civil society group for constitutional reform.

They were held in police cells for two days and charged with organising an illegal protest. The charges were later dropped.

Professor Raftopoulos said the Public Order and Security Act had "become a means of abusing activists, seizing them off the streets and holding them for 48 hours as a form of intimidation".

Zimbabwe's government no longer allows protests by groups that oppose its policies. Parliament has been drafting laws requiring non-governmental organisations to register with the government, which will have the power to suspend their leadership.

Professor Raftopoulos said: "We will coordinate a civil society response to the legislation. We will continue to build up pressure on government and to grow and consolidate civil society so we can fight back against rights abuses and reoccupy the political space that government is denying us."

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

The University of Oxford is top in a list of the best universities in the UK, which includes institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

26 September

Most Commented

Universities in most nations are now obliged to prioritise graduate career prospects, but how it should be approached depends on your view of the meaning of education. Academics need to think that through much more clearly, says Tom Cutterham


Featured jobs