Home » General » Students Challenge UZ Closure, Threaten Legal Action

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe students have challenged the decision by administrators to shut down the institution for a week following food riots on Tuesday.

The students’ lawyers Mtisi and Webster Jiti of Mtisi Musendekwa Legal Practitioners, who are members of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, demanded that the learners be accorded “reasonable time to vacate the halls of residence”.

UZ authorities announced late Tuesday that the institution would immediately shut down and ordered students to “vacate halls of residence before the end of day”.

The institution, according to a communique from the Registrar Sergeant Chevo, would reopen its doors on March 24, resuming lectures the following day.

“University is on recess from Tuesday 17 March 2015 to Tuesday 24 March 2015 to address issues that require immediate attention,” said Chevo.

However, in an angry letter also copied to the Dean of students Munyaradzi Madambi, the students’ lawyers demanded that the rights of the students be respected.

“Most of them (students) have nowhere to go and your immediate decision to eject them exposes them to risk of criminals on the streets, prostitution among other evils which may visit them in their desperate situation,” the lawyers said in their letter.

“We further aise you against trampling on their rights enshrined both in the UZ’s Charter and the Constitution of Zimbabwe as such action will not go uncontested.”

The human rights attorneys also demanded that the Levi Nyagura administration reverse its decision and accord students adequate time to prepare for the closure of the university, threatening legal action if the demands are not met.

“In the interim, be aised that no student should check out as per your arbitrary and unlawful letter and kindly aise them to remain in their halls of residence until such a time a proper and reasonable notice has been issued,” reads part of the letter.

Source : New Zimbabwe