MSU suspends student over demo threats

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) has suspended a second-year student believed to be behind a social media post calling for the shutdown of the institution for not addressing the grievances of students.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

Kudzai Zimwara, a geography and environmental science student, was suspended through a letter signed by MSU acting vice-chancellor, Zandile Doreen Moyo.

“It has come to my attention that you are the source of and originator of a Whatsapp message calling on students to embark on an illegal demonstration and shut down Midlands State University. Your message, if heeded to, poses a serious security threat to the university in that the demonstration will not only disrupt teaching and learning but will more likely lead to anarchy and mayhem in the university, wrote Moyo.

She cited a section of the University Act as basis for suspension pending Zimwara’s appearance before the student disciplinary committee.

Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) Midlands chapter chairperson, Tapiwanashe Chiriga, slammed the suspension.

“We believe this is an attempt to silence and instil fear within students as well as prevent them from asking questions. University is not primary school where students are afraid of asking critical questions with regards to their welfare. The grievances that students have must be addressed and not target those who present them,” he said.

Chiriga also highlighted that his body had formally handed a petition to the university seeking redress on issues affecting students.

“We have challenges with the exorbitant fees we pay that our parents are struggling to meet and we have asked the university to review them downwards. We also have a problem of poor meals at the dining hall.

“Wi-fi at campus is now a problem and we do not want students to be chased out of lectures and barred from writing exams because they will not have afforded to raise the high fees. These are the issues we want the authorities at MSU to address,” he added.

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