UZ bars Madzore

HARARE - University of Zimbabwe (UZ) is barring MDC youth leader Solomon Madzore from resuming his studies ostensibly because he has a pending criminal case.

Madzore, along with 28 MDC activists, are jointly facing murder charges. Madzore was released late last year on bail from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu ruled that his alibi was plausible.

Now the country’s premier learning institution is denying him the right to resume his studies because of the hanging murder charges.

A letter written to Madzore by the UZ deputy registrar given as N Takawira reads: “I regret to inform you that your application for resumption of studies was unsuccessful.”

Madzore, who spent more than 12 months locked up in remand prison on charges of murdering police inspector Petros Mutedza, in Harare’s Glen View suburb in 2011, should have completed his studies were it not for the long incarceration.

Madzore was studying towards a degree in Social Work.

“I was left with only one semester and now authorities are denying me my right to education,” Madzore said. “Some people at the college told me that the reason I cannot complete my degree is because I am still on trial.”

Winding the clock some 40 years ago, Madzore says his situation is no different to what it was during the colonial era when Zimbabwe’s founding fathers including President Robert Mugabe and a host of other nationalists obtained degrees while they were doing time in prison.

“Mugabe was facing numerous charges in the 1970s but the racist Rhodesian government allowed him to study while in prison. My situation is different because I am out on remand but I cannot be allowed to study,” said Madzore.

Madzore has since engaged top human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to challenge the UZ.

“I don’t know whether the UZ is now an extension of the office of the Attorney General because they are continuing with my persecution,” Madzore said. “However I have since engaged my lawyers. Even convicted criminals are allowed to study in prison.”

Madzore said he is seeking to establish whether his rights as a citizen of Zimbabwe have been infringed by UZ’s stance.

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