A Zimbabwean student who demanded jobs from President Robert Mugabe during a graduation ceremony last week at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) has been sentenced to two weeks behind bars or pay a $50 fine.
According to New Zimbabwe .com, student activist Advance Musoki pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal nuisance in contravention of section 46 of the criminal law.
Musoki appeared at the Bulawayo magistrates court on Tuesday.
Musoki was arrested last Friday at NUST in Bulawayo for “raising a placard as students fight for their future, with bleak employment opportunities”.
Pleading for lenience, Musoki’s lawyer Mehluli Dube from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that his client was unemployed and had no savings in his bank account.
“Your worship, the offender is unemployed and has no savings in the bank. He did not waste the courts time in denying the charge,” Dube was quoted as saying.
Discontent is rising in Zimbabwe amid cash shortages, massive unemployment and the Mugabe government’s resolute refusal to back down on bond notes, a surrogate currency that many fear will bring back the hyperinflation and shortages last seen in the pre-2008 crisis.
In September, another student Tonderai Dombo was arrested at a graduation ceremony at the main University of Zimbabwe in Harare for holding up a placard demanding jobs.
He was later released – but then summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the university.