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Zimbabwe protest pastor freed on bail

By AFP

Added 28th June 2017 05:48 PM

Scores of placard-carrying students had gathered Monday at the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus, chanting and singing in protest against a hike in tuition fees from $450 (396 euros) to $900 (791 euros) a year.

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Zimbabwean pastor and political activist Evan Mawarire was freed on $200 bail Wednesday after his arrest for speaking to striking medical students.

Mawarire had been addressing students protesting a doubling of tuition fees Monday when he and a student at the University of Zimbabwe were taken into custody.

Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa released the pair on bail, ordering them to report to the police every Friday and surrender their passports.

Scores of placard-carrying students had gathered Monday at the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus, chanting and singing in protest against a hike in tuition fees from $450 (396 euros) to $900 (791 euros) a year.

The university said the students had thrown stones and ordered all medical students out of campus and residence halls.

Mawarire last year led mass anti-government protests dubbed #ThisFlag after posting videos on social media lamenting the worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe under long-ruling President Robert Mugabe.

The campaign led to a protest that shut down major cities and paralysed the public transport in cities.

Mawarire later fled the country to the US, fearing for his life.

When he returned to Zimbabwe in February, authorities arrested him, charging he had attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.

He has yet to face trial over those charges.

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