FSN in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) carries out Global Political Agreement (GPA) debates with students as well as community members.
The aim of the workshops is to evaluate the GPA and to also discuss about female students participating in national processes such as the recently held elections and the constitution making process.
The Network has been working with female students for three years and it is authorised by the deans of students who view the Networks’ workshops as extra curricula activities.
On Friday the 20th of September, FSN held a workshop in Masvingo with Masvingo Polytechnic female students on Friday the 20th of September 2013. Female students who attended the workshop were from Masvingo Teachers’’ College, Mogenster Teachers’ College and Great Zimbabwe University.
FSN usually works with local organisations during such activities. The Network had invited a representative from Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), a Masvingo based organisation, to give a presentation during the workshop
At around 15 00hrs, the workshop was disrupted by the police who had been tipped off by Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Union (ZICOSU) members that there was a former Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) member. The ZICOSU members had called the police purporting to be the Dean of Students.
The police thought the ZINASU member was working with FSN and the clash led to police accusing the FSN Director for not notifying the police about the workshop. They then arrested FSN Director Evernice Munando together with four other presenters. The Masvingo Polytechnic Dean of Students then called the police and explained to them that he had authorised FSN to work with female students from his institution.
The police who had sat in the community workshop the previous day also testified that FSN was apolitical and had carried out a peaceful, non-partisan workshop with community members. Ms. Munando was then released at around 18.00hrs after thorough questioning and interrogation.
Female students who had attendee the debate were left in great fear as they had never encountered such incidents during FSN workshops before.
FSN condemns unruly behaviour conducted by the students’ organisations as it tarnishes the image of the Network.
In as much as FSN partners with student organisations, the Network wishes to disassociate itself with rowdy activities carried out by these movements. FSN would also like to apologise for any inconvenience this incident might have or is likely to cause to our partners and stakeholders.