SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: March 29, 2012

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):National University of Science and Technology

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Zimbabwe

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In March 2012, Munyaradzi Gwisai, a labor law lecturer, and Welcome Zimuto, a student leader, were convicted of “conspiracy to commit public violence” after reportedly viewing a video of the Arab Spring protests in Egypt and Tunisia in the company of others. The two were arrested in February 2011. According to sources, Gwisai has stated that the viewing of the video was purely for academic purposes.

Gwisai has alleged that he was subjected to torture while detained.

Gwisai and Zimuto were initially charged with treason but subsequently the charges were reduced. Gwisai was sentenced to community service and a fine the equivalent of US $500. He and his co-accused filed an appeal and sought to suspend the community service order while the appeal was pending. On March 29, the court rejected their request.