Midlands State University could be forced to set examinations for one student after the student successfully challenged the university’s decision to bar him from writing examinations in court.
The student, Believe Tevera, a member of the Student Representative Committee (SRC) was suspended for publishing an article in a daily paper condemning what he called harassment and subsequent arrest of some students by the MSU security personnel and the police during an SRC posts’ campaign at the university.
He was suspended from the university and barred from writing end of semester examinations, which commenced on 28 October 2012 and ended last week.
Chronicle saw the suspension letter, which Mr Tevera received on 27 October 2012, a day before the examinations began.
Mr Tevera through his lawyer, Mr Hillary Garikayi, of Garikayi and Company Legal Practitioners, however, contested the suspension and his subsequent failure to write his end of semester examinations at the High Court and won the case.
Acting Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Meshack Cheda granted the interim relief lifting Mr Tevera’s suspension.
“Take notice that the Honourable Mr Justice Cheda AJ sitting at Bulawayo issued a Provisional Order as shown overleaf:
“The suspension by the respondents be and is hereby set aside. That the 1st respondent (Vice-Chancellor Midlands State University, Professor Ngwabi Bhebe) and 2nd respondent (MSU) shall pay costs of suit in the event that they oppose the application.
The 1st and 2nd respondents be and are hereby barred from stopping the Applicant from writing his 4th year first semester 2012 examinations,” reads part of the High Court Order dated 6 November 2012.
The MSU, which had the chance to file a notice of opposition within 10 days, failed to do so and the university lawyers, Dzimba, Jaravaza and Associates, are engaging Mr Tevera’s lawyers for an out-of-court settlement. One of the options under consideration is to set examinations for Mr Tevera while the other is for him to write the examinations with those students who will be writing supplementary examinations.
Mr Garikayi confirmed the development when he was contacted yesterday.
He, however, refused to give further details saying the matter was now with the university’s lawyers, Dzimba, Jaravaza and Associates.
“We are still engaging each other and we have since received the university lawyers’ options and offers after they decided not to appeal against the High Court Order, but we can not divulge the details in the media,” he said.
Mr Tevera also confirmed the development when contacted for comment yesterday.
“I have just communicated with my lawyers and am on my way from Harare to meet my lawyers in Gweru to map a way forward. The lawyers will advise you what would have been suggested in terms of how I would write the examinations,” he said.
An official in the office of the university’s public relations director referred all the questions to the university registrar, Mr Erasmus Mupfiga.
“Our acting public relations director, Ms Sinikiwe Tirivanhu, is off duty and you can get in touch with the registrar maybe she can assist you in that regard,” said the official who declined to be identified.
Repeated efforts to get in touch with Mr Mupfiga were fruitless as he was not responding to calls.