High Court blocks stu­dent leader’s sus­pen­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/feature - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

THE High Court yes­ter­day quashed the sus­pen­sion of a Mid­lands State Univer­sity (MSU) stu­dent leader who was fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a po­lit­i­cal demon­stra­tion or­gan­ised by the Zim­babwe Peo­ple First and the MDC-T in Gweru.

Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Fran­cis Bere’s rul­ing fol­lowed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion by Archi­bold Elias Ma­dida, a sec­ond year stu­dent ma­jor­ing in His­tory and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, chal­leng­ing his sus­pen­sion by the univer­sity.

Ma­dida, who is also an MDC-T ac­tivist, is iden­ti­fied in court pa­pers as the Zim­babwe Na­tional Stu­dents Union (ZINASU) MSU chair­per­son.

Ma­dida is ac­cused of hav­ing en­gaged in a con­duct which is likely or rea­son­ably likely to be harm­ful to the in­ter­ests of the univer­sity in terms of sec­tion 3.1.4 of Or­di­nance No. 2 of 2000.

Jus­tice Bere or­dered MSU Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Ng­wabi Bhebhe to lift the sus­pen­sion.

“The ap­pli­cant’s sus­pen­sion pend­ing the con­duct­ing of a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing against him be per­ma­nently up­lifted. The ap­pli­cant be and is hereby al­lowed to be on the univer­sity premises, at­tend lec­tures, par­tic­i­pate in univer­sity pro­grammes and have ac­cess to all univer­sity fa­cil­i­ties,” ruled the judge.

Ma­dida was served with a sus­pen­sion letter on Au­gust 17 and barred from ac­cess­ing the cam­pus with­out the Vice-Chan­cel­lor’s per­mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers, Ma­dida is said to have been “pic­tured hold­ing a plac­ard with the in­scrip­tion “MSU STU­DENTS 100% BE­HIND MDC-T”.

The plac­ard car­ried the MSU logo side by side with that of the MDC-T.

The MSU au­thor­i­ties ac­cused Ma­dida of abus­ing the univer­sity logo for po­lit­i­cal pur­poses and sub­se­quently barred him from at­tend­ing lec­tures and par­tic­i­pat­ing in univer­sity pro­grammes as well as ac­cess­ing all fa­cil­i­ties at the in­sti­tu­tion.

Ma­dida, through his lawyers, Gundu and Dube Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, ar­gued that his sus­pen­sion was not jus­ti­fi­able and a vi­o­la­tion of his con­sti­tu­tional right to free­dom of con­science and as­so­ci­a­tion.

“I believe I was only sus­pended be­cause I am af­fil­i­ated to the MDC-T, which is the main op­po­si­tion party in the coun­try. This is a con­tra­ven­tion of my right to free­dom of con­science, free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion and my right not to be dis­crim­i­nated against on the ba­sis of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion,” said Ma­dida.

Ma­dida, who said he was the “MDC-T’s for­mer stu­dent coun­cil” spokesper­son, claimed that he was be­ing vic­timised on po­lit­i­cal grounds.

“It is sur­pris­ing that I am be­ing vic­timised for al­legedly be­ing pho­tographed hold­ing an MDC-T plac­ard along­side the MSU logo. I believe I am be­ing vic­timised for be­ing known as an MDC-T ac­tivist and for be­ing vo­cal at the univer­sity and crit­i­cis­ing au­thor­i­ties,” he said.

In May, three MSU stu­dents were also sus­pended for al­legedly mo­bil­is­ing other stu­dents through What­sApp to stage a protest over poor liv­ing con­di­tions at the Zvisha­vane cam­pus. They were later re­in­stated by the High Court.— @mash­nets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.