UZ students join anti-Mugabe protests

HARARE - University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students refused to sit for their examinations yesterday, demanding the immediate resignation of chancellor of all State universities, President Robert Mugabe.

The protesting students also demanded the resignation of vice chancellor Levi Nyagura over a host of alleged misdemeanours, including granting First Lady Grace Mugabe a controversial doctorate in 2014.

The protest came as Mugabe is under pressure to relinquish power after the military seized control of government mid last week.

The First Family is also facing an internal revolt in Zanu PF after Mugabe was recalled by his party while Grace was shown the door following a special central committee session on Sunday.

Yesterday, the administrators at the country’s oldest university buckled under pressure and moved to indefinitely defer the first and second semester examinations in the wake of the unrest at the institution.

“Please be advised that November and December 2017 examinations have been deferred until further notice,” acting deputy registrar, Blessing Makunike, said in a notice to students.

UZ Student Representative Council secretary-general, Tafadzwa Ponela, said the trio of Mugabe, Grace and Nyagura has overstayed its welcome.

“The message is clear, we are tired of Nyagura, Grace and Mugabe and we are united in our conviction. Students are at the receiving end. There is rampant prostitution at tertiary institutions; we have no access to loans or grants and we have no access to jobs after school,” said Ponela.

The students laid siege on Nyagura’s offices demanding his resignation and that he revokes Grace’s controversial doctorate.

They also accused Mugabe of failing to provide grants, presiding over rising joblessness and creating a nation of “graduate vendors.”

Among their demands was the cancellation of university fees debts; that the tuition be reduced, and that they would not write examinations until Mugabe steps down.

During the protest, students carried placards emblazoned “Mugabe Dololo”, “Nyagura Must Go” and “(Jonathan) Moyo bring back the $400 000 you stole.”

Some depicted the face of Zanu PF interim president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Students chanted Bob watengesa nyika kuna Grace usazokanganwa tisu takakuisa tichakubvisa (Mugabe you have sold the country to your wife, don’t forget we put you there and we will remove you).

“We are not afraid. Every student is in solidarity with this protest. We want our doctorate back. We want Nyagura and the dean of students Madambi to step down. They have failed to give us value for money from 41 in the world we are now 133 all because of bad leadership,” said Tendai Tamawenyu, a political science student.

Law student Shadreck Masike said student freedoms were no longer a priority under Nyagura’s administration.

“The army has said their operation is targeted at rooting out criminals and Nyagura is part of this cabal. He started a part time law session to enrol Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Social Welfare minister Patrick Zhuwao. Yet when we asked him for a bus to ferry students to the solidarity march he turned us down,” Masike said.

Innocent Kagodora, a political science student said “Mugabe went to college at the mercy of grants and scholarships but he has denied us the same. He should go.”

Comments (1)

so this story is dead

tsb - 12 December 2017

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