Stu­dent ‘protest lead­ers’ chal­lenge var­sity

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Local News/analysis - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

TWO Lu­pane State Univer­sity (LSU) stu­dents ac­cused of mo­bil­is­ing fel­low stu­dents to boy­cott classes in protest over a de­ci­sion by the Vice-Chan­cel­lor to bar them from writ­ing ex­am­i­na­tions, have taken the univer­sity au­thor­i­ties to court chal­leng­ing the move.

Mthokozisi Dube and Anele Ncube, who are both fi­nal year stu­dents in the com­merce de­part­ment, are ac­cused of al­leged mis­con­duct in vi­o­la­tion of the univer­sity’s Rules of Stu­dent Con­duct and Dis­ci­pline, Or­di­nance 30.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter signed by LSU’s se­nior proc­tor, Dube al­legedly wrote a let­ter on July 22 in­sult­ing the Vice-Chan­cel­lor while Ncube is ac­cused of cir­cu­lat­ing a mes­sage through so­cial me­dia to dis­rupt univer­sity ac­tiv­i­ties by mo­bil­is­ing stu­dents to boy­cott lec­tures.

Dube and Ncube, through the Zim­babwe Lawyers for Hu­man Rights, yes­ter­day filed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court cit­ing LSU and its Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Par­don Kuipa, as re­spon­dents.

They are seek­ing an or­der in­ter­dict­ing the univer­sity from con­duct­ing a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing against them. They also want the univer­sity to be barred from tak­ing any ac­tion against them pend­ing the out­come of the mat­ter filed un­der HC2439/16.

Dube, in his found­ing af­fi­davit, ar­gued that the let­ter he pur­port­edly wrote was ac­tu­ally a pe­ti­tion au­thored by a group of fi­nal year stu­dents who were not happy with the Vice-Chan­cel­lor’s de­ci­sion to bar them from writ­ing ex­ams over out­stand­ing fees.

“The let­ter in ques­tion is ac­tu­ally a pe­ti­tion. I was part of the group of part four stu­dents that au­thored the pe­ti­tion which was di­rected at the Vice-Chan­cel­lor af­ter he made a de­ci­sion that we could not write ex­am­i­na­tions with­out pay­ing all out­stand­ing fees,” said Dube.

He said the aim of the pe­ti­tion was to bring their griev­ances to the univer­sity’s au­thor­i­ties.

Last month Dube and Ncube ap­peared be­fore the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee which ruled that the two stu­dents should go for trial de­spite ob­jec­tions.

The two stu­dents, in their ap­pli­ca­tion un­der HC2439/16, are chal­leng­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the univer­sity’s con­duct.

“Pend­ing the out­come of that ap­pli­ca­tion, I seek the in­ter­ven­tion of this hon­ourable court to in­ter­dict the re­spon­dents from pro­ceed­ing with the trial be­fore the de­ter­mi­na­tions on con­sti­tu­tional is­sues have been made in the main mat­ter,” said Dube. — @mash­nets.

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