Student ‘protest leaders’ challenge varsity
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.