UZ students boil over Mugabe
By Chengeto Chidi
LIVID University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students are up in arms with authorities who have moved to shut the institution so that it can play host to mourners across the country who will converge in Harare to bid the later former President Robert Mugabe farewell.
The university in a statement asked all students to temporarily evacuate its residence and pave way for mourners just two weeks after it opened its doors.
“Lectures will end at 1700 hours on Wednesday 11 September and resume on 16 September. All students in University accommodation are expected to have checked out of they’re resideces by 1000 hours on Thursday 12 September. Resident students are expected back on campus on Sunday 15 September, starting at 1400hours,” reads a statement from UZ.
The Dean of students Munyaradzi Madambi, who held a meeting with the students in an effort to clarify on the four day vacation faced angry students who protested the decision saying they deserve to mourn the former president in the halls of residence too.
Students’ Representative Council vice president Fanuel Kaseke said the move to evacuate students is irrational and as the SRC they stand with the students
“They can’t send students back home just to accommodate mourners. Students checked in two weeks ago, some even later than that and they can’t be sent home only two return in a few days. There is also no guarantee that their property will be safe once they check out of campus accommodation,” argued Kaseke.
Madambi also assured students that they will get reimbursed by the institution for transport back home during the break.
“Students have raised concerns about how vacating the halls of residence is likely to put a strain on their finance and as an institution we are prepared to assist them. It is something the government is paying for and resiurces will come from delegates we are hosting in the halls of residence,” he said.
UZ has also been forced to postpone its graduation ceremony which was scheduled for Friday.
Students accused the authorities of turning a blind eye to their rights since they had not bothered to discuss the move with students first.
The Dean of Students however assured students that their property will be safe and secure.
He advised them to carry home with them their most valuable property.