University defies court order for students to rewrite exams

By Lance Guma

20 July 2007.

Masvingo State University has decided to take the lead from their counterparts in Harare by defying a court order allowing two suspended student leaders the chance to write their exams. In June the President of the SRC Whitlaw Mugwiji and his Secretary General Edson Hlatshwayo were violently dragged out of the examinations room before being severely assaulted by the state and college security personnel. The courts have ordered the institution to set supplementary exams before 10th August this year and allow the two to write them.

Unfortunately for the students it seems Robert Mugabe, the Chancellor to most Universities, is giving direct instructions to the Vice Chancellors to ignore court orders. In Harare, High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo last week ordered the University of Zimbabwe to reverse the eviction of over 4000 students from their halls of residence. But Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura defied the order, telling one suspended student that Mugabe had told him the judge who made the decision should be prepared to accommodate the students at his house. Authorities in Masvingo are singing from the same songbook.

Vice Chancellor Professor Maravanyika openly told the students that he takes instructions from the Presidents office and that he has been firmly told not to readmit the two students. Contempt of court applications have been filed by students at the University of Zimbabwe and similar applications in Masvingo are expected.