Mawarire broke the law

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Leader & Comment -

EDI­TOR — Evan Mawarire had no right to be at the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe when med­i­cal stu­dents were protest­ing.

When­ever out­siders visit any univer­sity’s premises, their in­ten­tions are probed and they sign in a vis­i­tor’s sched­ule.

One won­ders if Mawarire signed and told the truth that he was there to help the stu­dents protest.

UZ has the right of ad­mis­sion, which means that they re­serve the right to call law en­force­ment if some­one is within their premises against their ap­proval.

Ac­tivists and so­cial me­dia cham­pi­ons will claim per­se­cu­tion among other things, but the truth is, his pres­ence at the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe was un­sanc­tioned by the au­thor­i­ties, which makes it un­law­ful.

Aca­demic free­dom only ap­plies when the ac­tiv­i­ties were of an aca­demic na­ture and there are pro­ce­dures needed for any­one to ad­dress stu­dents usu­ally through a public lec­ture.

This does not en­tail throw­ing stones, an act which puts the univer­sity’s name into dis­re­pute as well as put other stu­dents at a dis­ad­van­tage.

If Mawarire had good in­ten­tions he must have known that there is a method to en­gage­ment at any univer­sity.

It would be ir­re­spon­si­ble to al­low ev­ery­one to en­ter their premises and ad­dress peo­ple’s chil­dren in the man­ner Mawarire did.

Stu­dent con­cerns should be solved by stu­dents, op­por­tunists who try to gain mileage through gen­uine con­cerns should be con­demned in the strong­est terms.

K Dube, Harare.

Evan Mawarire

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