Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has warned students against using politics to interfere in academic processes, cautioning that those who do it will face “costly” consequences.

His warning comes after three University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students embarrassed President Robert Mugabe by openly protesting in his face at the institution’s graduation ceremony last week.

The trio — Tonderai Dombo, Thembinkosi Rushwaya and Alexander Mukamba — were picketing over government’s failure to create employment, a situation which has seen desperate multitudes of graduates resorting to vending, among other menial jobs.

But Moyo slammed the protesting students, arguing that their actions were out of line.
“My message was crystal clear in that if you are a college or university student, it pays to know that formal academic processes have rules and using politics to break those rules willy-nilly can be very costly,” he told the Daily News, adding that “there’s nothing to add or subtract from this straightforward advice”.

Earlier on, Moyo had tweeted that the protesting students should create their own jobs rather than openly confront Mugabe for failing to provide jobs.
“If varsity drop outs like Bill Gates can create jobs then graduates like dreadlocked Thembinkosi Rushwaya should be expected to do better!” he tweeted.

In another tweet, Moyo said: “Just because one is . . . Dombo does not mean they should throw stones everywhere anytime. Disrupting a graduation ceremony can cost a degree!”

In the protest, Dombo — a graduate from the faculty of Humanities and the immediate past UZ Students’ Representative Council (SRC) president — stood up from a crowd and waved an A4- sized placard inscribed “graduates today, rovha mangwana (loafer tomorrow)”, as Mugabe was seated at the top table next to Moyo.

He was then hurriedly escorted outside the venue and detained by alleged State security agents.

Dombo, along with two other co-accused, were later taken to Harare Central Police Station where they spent the night before criminal nuisance charges were laid against them.
They paid a $10 admission of guilt fine each.

Zimbabwe has an estimated unemployment rate of over 90 percent, with Mugabe’s government failing to fulfil its 2013 election promise to create 2,2 million new jobs.

The Zanu PF-led government has consistently responded to protests against increasing joblessness and rising poverty by branding the perpetrators as “enemies of the State, agents of regime change and western-sponsored groups” bent on courting international intervention in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs. Daily news


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