FORMER University of Zimbabwe (UZ) student, Tonderai Dombo has claimed the registrar’s department is withholding his certificate and those of others as punishment for protesting in front of President Robert Mugabe at the recent graduation ceremony.
The trio of Dombo, Alex Mukamba and Tembinkosi Rushwaya protested at the graduation ceremony, expressing displeasure over the high unemployment rate and worsening economic situation in the country. They were later fined $10 each on public nuisance charges.
After the protest, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo threatened to withhold their degrees, as punishment for their open protest.
Dombo told NewsDay yesterday that they had been told by officials in the registrar’s department that they would not get their certificates for reportedly embarrassing the institution in Mugabe’s presence.
“Firstly, I have been going to my faculty to look for my certificate and I was told it was not there. I was told I should check with the registrar, but at the registrar’s office I was told it was not there as well. Officials there told me to leave, but I refused, saying they had to give me a satisfactory answer,” he said, adding security was called to throw him out.
“I was then told I embarrassed the institution and, as such, I would not receive the certificate. My other colleagues were told the same.”
Dombo said he will engage lawyers to force the institution to release his certificate.
“I am now going to take legal action if they insist on not giving me (my certificate). I will look for a lawyer to take up our case, because, as far as I am concerned, they have no legal standing to act in the manner they are doing,” he said.
Dombo said he was awarded a place to pursue a master’s degree at UZ before the graduation protest and was shocked to hear they wanted to stop him for the demonstration.
However, UZ spokesperson, Daniel Chihombori said certificates were issued to graduates on the day of the graduation ceremony.
“We suspect that on the day, the said individuals were not at the venue, where the certificates were being issued,” he said. newsday