Category Archives: NEWS

Pregnant NUST Student in Train Suicide

Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter

A 19-YEAR-OLD student from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo was crushed by a train in an alleged suicide with family members managing to identify her by part of her leg and jacket she was wearing.

Blessing Mangena of Cowdray Park suburb who was a first year Statistics student lay on a railway track near her home on Monday night after her boyfriend allegedly disowned her pregnancy and told her he was married.

The student, who was said to be brilliant in her studies, lived with her uncle as her parents work in South Africa.

Blessing’s parents, Mr and Mrs Mangena, arrived from their South African base yesterday evening and could not contain their grief at the death of their daughter.

Police from Luveve Police station attended the scene.

Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident yesterday afternoon.

“I can confirm that we attended the scene of a case of sudden death where a 19-year-old woman was found lying dead on a railway line. Investigations are underway and at this time we cannot disclose the cause of death,” said Insp Ncube.

The Chronicle visited the family and spoke to Blessing’s uncle, Mr Trust Munkombwe, who lived with her as her parents reside in South Africa.

Mr Munkombwe said he works in Binga but at the time of the death of his niece, he had come home for examinations at Lupane State University.

He said his niece left a suicide note, revealing the reason why she decided to end her life. “She said she was sorry for disappointing the family. She did not know how to break the news to us but she was four and a half months pregnant and had discovered that her boyfriend was married after pretending to be a bachelor during their relationship. She asked us to be strong for her mother,” said Mr Munkombwe.

The suicide note read: “Mum is the best, please comfort her for me. I love her”.

Mr Munkombwe said they started looking for her at around 8PM on Monday to no avail, before they learnt of her death from social media messages, hours later.

“After we had given up looking for her, we saw some viral messages on WhatsApp which were alerting people of a young woman who had been crushed to death by a train at Cowdray Park near the Water Works. I rushed there with my neighbour and to my shock, we discovered that it was my niece. I could only identify her by my jacket that she had borrowed in the morning when she left for school,” he said.

Mr Munkombwe described his niece as a hard working and brilliant student who never had any disciplinary problems at home.

He said she was also an active member of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Cowdray Park suburb.

“It was so painful I could not even look at her. All I could identify her with was my jacket and a piece of her leg and shoes she was wearing. That was all.

If only she had told me, I would not have allowed her to do this. These are the problems of child headed families. I am away at work most of the times so children lack counselling and guidance and neighbours also fail to act in loco parentis as our communities have changed,” said Mr Munkombwe.

“Her parents invested so much in her education. She passed very well at Mtshabezi High School in her O-levels before attaining 13 points in Maths, Biology and Chemistry at Sizane High School for her A-Levels. Her dream was to study Pharmacy, although she was enrolled for Statistics at Nust.”

Blessing is survived by her parents and young brother.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. — @andile_tshuma. Pictures: Zimlive.com

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Great Zimbabwe University to launch Community Radio Station in Masvingo

One minute read

Great Zimbabwe University will soon launch its Campus Radio Station following the recent successful installation of the digital equipment imported from abroad.

The campus radio station, the first to be owned by a university in Zimbabwe, is now awaiting licensing from responsible authorities before it can start broadcasting.

Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo said the radio station will reach out to people living in Masvingo and its surroundings, adding that this non-commercial radio station will broadcast a variety of educational programmes and programmes to enhance social awareness and educate the audience about their social responsibilities.

“We are going to establish a radio station as a university, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. The radio station will usher in a new era in the history of GZU. We hope to train the best broadcast journalists in Zimbabwe.

Radio plays an important role in our lives and quality journalism is essential in educating, informing and entertaining,” said Prof Zvobgo. The campus radio station will serve as an incubator of the broadcasting talent available at the University.

GZU RADIO

As the government moves to licence more radio stations, graduates from GZU are expected to be well primed for absorption into these new radio stations due to the practical experience they would have acquired from the Campus Radio Station.

Besides terrestrial broadcasting, a website for the station from which the station will stream live, is currently being developed. With livestreaming, the GZU Campus Radio will be accessible to people outside its broadcast radius through the internet. – GZU Facebook

Suicide after lecturer ‘beds student’s girlfriend’

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
One minute read

A FINAL year Local Government student at Midlands State University allegedly hanged himself from the roof truss at his lodgings in Nehosho area in Senga early yesterday morning for unknown reasons.

Walter Temera

Speculation is, however, rife that Walter Temera killed himself in anger after allegedly finding one of his lecturers bedding his girlfriend. It is also said that he was in debt and possibly saw suicide as the only way out.

Midlands Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko said reasons why he allegedly took his life were unknown adding that police investigations were underway.

“Yes I can confirm that an MSU student was allegedly found hanging from the roof truss of the toilet at a house where he was staying with other school mates. There are a lot of theories being thrown around but police investigations are underway,” he said.

MSU director of information Mrs Mirirai Mawere also confirmed the sudden death.

“Yes I can confirm the death of one of our students. It’s now a police case and under investigation, “she said.

Students close to the matter said that Temera had travelled to Victoria Falls with other students on an educational tour arriving back in Gweru around 2AM.

“Word is that he tried to jump off a moving bus when they were returning from Victoria Falls but was restrained by other students. The reasons for wanting to commit suicide by jumping off a moving bus are unknown,” said a student on condition of anonymity.

He said when the bus arrived at the Gweru Main Campus – it was suggested that Temera should spend the rest of the night under the watch of his best friend at the Main Campus.

“He allegedly sneaked out of his best friend’s room and went to his lodgings in Nehosho. This morning, he started apologising to his friends for all the wrongs he had done to them telling them that he lived a ‘fake’ life. Then around 7:30AM he was found hanging from a truss in a toilet,” said the student.

However, the student said his neighbour told the police that Temera owed some students money which he was failing to pay back.

Insp Goko appealed to members of the public especially students to consult elders or their lecturers when they face problems.

“It is unfortunate that members of the society resort to such extreme measures in the face of challenges. As police we urge members of the public especially these students to value the sanctity of live. In the face of problems they must consult school authorities, elders in the community, their guardians or the police,” he said.

 

47 people killed in Rusape horror bus accident: Pictures (Too Graphic!)

Takunda Shumba

4 minute read

At least 47 people died on spot and several others were seriously injured on Wednesday 7 November when two buses were involved in a head on collision near Rusape toll gate along the Harare Mutare highway.

The horror crash involved Smart Express and Bolt Cutter buses.

Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told reporters they have so far identified 47 bodies.

Two of the deceased were minors.

“So far, 47 people have been confirmed dead, 45 adults and two children,” said Asst Comm Nyathi. “The accident occurred at the 166km peg on the Harare-Mutare Road – just after the Rusape tollgate drifting towards Harare.”

“The accident involved a Bolt Cutter bus that was heading towards Mutare which collided with a Smart Express bus which was going to Harare. Police are still attending the accident scene.”

What happened?

An eyewitness who attended the accident scene said: “The driver of the Smart Express bus was trying to overtake a haulage truck and encroached into the lane of the oncoming bus, resulting in the head on collision.

“The driver and conductor of Smart Bus Express survived and are said to have escaped from the scene soon after the accident.”

The two buses drove too close to each other at speed resulting in a side-swipe that completely ripped open the length of the left side of the Smart Express bus.

The rear panel of the Smart Express bus sheared off and sat a few meters from where most of the bus came to a stop off the road.

The other bus, operated by Bolt Cutter, had its front completely destroyed, mangling the door and trapping passengers inside.

The status of the Bolt Cutter driver could not be ascertained last night.

Some passengers were trapped in the bus and could be heard crying for help.

When the Chronicle Harare Bureau news crew arrived at the scene of the accident, the road was blocked and rendered impassable with bodies, the injured and their luggage strewn all over the place.

The Rusape fire brigade quickly responded and helped remove the trapped passengers.

Local Hospital Overwhelmed

The Rusape fire brigade quickly responded and helped remove the trapped passengers.

A doctor resident at Rusape General Hospital said at least 70 people had been admitted to the hospital.

“People are still coming in, but according to our register now, 70 people have been admitted to the hospital,” said the doctor who could not be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Similar tragedies

The disaster is already Zimbabwe’s second highest death toll from a bus crash since the Nyanga Bus Disaster of August 1991 that killed 89 people.

The second worst disaster involved a King Lion bus on its way to Zambia which killed 45 people in the Nyamakate area, about 30km before Makuti on the Harare-Chirundu highway in June last year.

That second spot had for a long time been held by a Mhunga bus that ploughed into the Shashe River near Masvingo on the highway to Harare in June 2002, killing 40 people.

Below are pictures of the two buses.

Please note: Pictures have been edited as they are not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.

Source:ZWnews.com + Chronicle Zim

Students’ protests ‘Pfeeeeee’ as kombi fares hike

By Staff Reporters

2 minute read

As the economy continues to spiral out of control, with basic commodities’ prices shooting up, students haven’t been spared from the madness.

From the 50cents, that was already too high for them, UZ students woke up to find that there’ll be yet another adjustment to their budgets.

UZ students - byo 24
UZ students protests. Credit: bulawayo24.com

“Kana zvikanesta toenda netsoka” was the new slogan at the University of Zimbabwe today as students protested against the newly introduced kombi fares of 75 cents, which rendered their daily dollar deals obsolete, taking away the value a single dollar had in their lives.

Speaking to Campus Moments Magazine, a UZ student only identified as Tkay condemned the hike as daylight robbery, arguing that it was not consistent with their budgets.

“Its not fair you know, we are only students and are not working and we cant cope with these fares. My ‘coin’ has lost its value and my budget is already strained for me to squeeze out $1.50 for transport,” Tkay said.

In a short video in possession of this publication, students were chanting slogans and vowing to resort to walking than to pay the extra $0.50 cents for a return trip on top of the dollar they were used to paying

This challenge hit hard especially students who stay away from the college premises.

Another UZ student, Tariro Mandiri said, “I paid $0.75 today, they were not negotiating anything. I think we are the most affected and we wouldn’t have to worry about all this if we had enough accommodation in rez.”

According to Tawanda, a kombi driver who ferries UZ students, the ongoing economic crunch and fuel shortages in the country is what has necessitated their unwelcome review of prices.

combi pic
hararenews.co.zw

“If you look closely, as commuters, we have been reluctant to react to the ongoing economic challenge, but at the end of the day, we are in this for profits. Everything has gone up, and if we continue charging what we were charging, we would better park these vehicles,” said Tawanda.

Another kombi driver, Nicholas Chebvute argued that the fuel queues were also eating into their productive time, forcing them into the black market.

“To be frank, if we are to follow the queues, it would be hard to make anything,’ Chebvute said, “so we are forced to buy from the black market where a mere 5 litres costs $10 where as I could get the same at a very reasonable cost of about $7 but we are a time sensitive businesses and we cant spend more than an hour in a fuel queue because that is a complete trip.”

As the economy continues on a downward path, the students’ community has continued to press the government to take the necessary steps to abate the situation so as to save the future of the nation littered across colleges.

If you are student in college and would like to write on this platform, get in touch with us here: newsroom@campusmoments.org

Breaking News:UZ Postpones Graduation Ceremony Indefinitely Owing to Cholera

The University of Zimbabwe has postponed indefinitely a graduation ceremony which was meant to be held tomorrow, Friday the 14th of September owing to a cholera outbreak in Harare.-StarFM

NUST student and Alumna co-founded online farm system wins at Seedstars Competition

One minute read

NUST student and alumna co-founded technical start-up, Rera Online Farm, has emerged the winner of the Zimbabwean leg of the Seedstars World Competition. They have managed to book a spot for themselves in the regional competitions penned for this December in Ivory Coast, after shrugging off stiff competition from nine other innovators.

The Rera online system is a four-year-old brain child of a NUST final year Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering student, Rick Masuku, former Electronic Engineering student Ratanang Noko and a Harare based technical enthusiast, Gladson Dube.

If Rera wins the regional competition in Ivory Coast, the startup will qualify for the global Seedstars Summit, to be held in Switzerland next year in April where the innovators will battle it out with other technical startups from around the globe.

By participating at the Global Seedstars Summit, the online startup stands a chance to win up to US$1 million in equity investment for their project.

The Zimbabwe competition took place on Friday June 29 at Impact Hub Harare, with nine startups pitching in front of a local jury which comprised of Nhena Nyagura from Dandemutande, Ethel Bangwayo from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sharon Wekwete from Omidyar Network and Lilian Mbayiwa from Old Mutual.

Rera is an online platform that provides an opportunity for consumers to farm their own poultry produce through “three easy steps” which are by signing up for an account on the Rera website, creating their own fowl run by selecting the type of poultry produce and quantity they want to farm and lastly, once they confirm their poultry produce, the Rera sales agents advise the retail consumers on the payment procedure.

According to one of the founders of the online farm, the system could not have come at the right time than now when most people are digitally literate citing how they can save money by trying it out.

“Rera is an online platform that provides an opportunity for consumers to farm their own chicken in less than 5 minutes,it is a simple to use system like any other social media platform most people are familiar to,” said Masuku.

“With a low production cost of about $3.75 per chicken, this cuts costs for farmers, fast food outlets or even any interested buyer,” he added.

Source-nust.ac.zw

GZU students protest over poor conditions

By Felix Machiwenyika/ Hazvinei Mwanaka/Sukuoluhle Ndlovu | Newsday
One minute read

RIOT police on Thursday fired teargas canisters to disperse students at Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), who stormed the institution’s Mashava campus protesting against poor diet, unsafe drinking water, hiked tuition fees and withdrawal of wi-fi facilities.

GZU acting vice-chancellor, Andrew Chindanya, confirmed the students’ protests and said they were engaging the union leaders to resolve their grievances.

“I am in the process of talking to them now, we are trying to resolve the situation,” he said.

A student who requested anonymity accused riot police of brutality in crushing the protests which he claimed had been cleared by police in Masvingo.

“We were given the permission to engage in a peaceful demo, but to our surprise the police and campus security guards stormed us with tear smoke and fired guns at us,” he said.

“The standards of living for students have drastically deteriorated, there is shortage of water and sometimes it’s dirty,” another student said.

The demonstrations started in the morning, with groups of students blocking roads to the campus.

“The tuition fee was hiked without consulting us, where do they think we will get that money from? We all know our economic situation. We pay our fees and yet still the campus facilities and management is so poor,” one student who was at the scene said.

“The police arrived at the scene and threw teargas canisters at the students in a bid to force us abandon the demonstration, but we shall continue until the situation is resolved. At least they should provide us with tangible solutions. We want to be treated equally with other students from other campuses, why do they segregate us yet we are from the same university and paying same fees,” said another female student who declined to be named.

Nust students express joy at resumption of lectures

Prince Sunduzani | Nust-ZW

2 min read

NUST students have expressed their joy over the resumption of lectures at the institution following a successful demonstration dubbed “Nust shut down” on Monday.

The students said they were happy that their plea for action had finally been considered.

“We are happy that finally our voice has been heard,” said Mzingaye Ncube a freshman at the university. “We lost a lot of time and I don’t know how we are going to be compensated for that. As students we must always speak with one voice on issues that affect us.”

“…we will continue to defend and protect our rights as students without fear..,”

Nust Student Representative Council president Mr Pablo Chimusoro, who was arrested by police during the protest said he was glad that the “university shutdown’ yielded results.

“We are happy that our voice has been heard and we will continue to defend and protect our rights as students without fear,” Chimusoro said. “The SRC will continue to ensure that the welfare of students is always accommodated for.”

 

On Monday, anti-riot police pounced on non violent, placard wielding students who were demanding an end to the lecturers strike.The police used water cannons and police dogs to disperse the students.

This reporter was also caught up in the incident and got itchy skin and eyes after he was sprayed with water from the cannons.

Police also went on to raid student’s rooms and arrested some students during the fracas and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights had to intervene.

“The 61 students who were picked up by the police were bailed out and we are now back at campus,” said Chimusoro. “We were asked to pay $5 fines for disorderly conduct charges after we were accused of contravening section 41 of the Criminal Law and Reform Act,”

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango defended the use of the water cannons which some student activists felt was excessive force.

“I’m aware that there was a demonstration at Nust and police had to use water cannons to disperse the students. The use of water cannons is one of the strategies to handle a mob,” Simango said.

Lecturers had been at loggerheads with the administration  over alleged mismanagement of the institution, leading to industrial action that cost students over 4 weeks of learning time.

#CurrentSituation: Students ‘Shutdown’ Nust in protest over strike

Developing Story | 2 minute read

Students barricaded the National University of Science and Technology on Monday morning in protest against the institution’s inability to resolve issues with lecturers who have been on strike for three weeks .

According to the Nust Student Representative Council (SRC), the protest dubbed #NustShutDown, was staged to compel the institution to resolve the deadlock with lecturers,  a situation that has resulted in the disruption of learning.

“Students have not been learning for about four weeks now and we have come to a situation where we have to do just about anything to get the attention of stakeholders at Nust,” said SRC President Pablo Chimusoro.

By  8 a.m, all entrance and exit points had been blocked and nobody was allowed on campus.

Administration staff were stranded at City Hall as their daily bus could not exit to shuttle them to work. Others were stranded in their vehicles along the Cecil Avenue entrance.

The shutdown is happening days after government announced the appointment of Prof Mqhele Dlodlo as substantive Vice Chancellor of the university.

Here is a timeline of key developments

  • 26 Feb 2018: Students shutdown Nust 

Students barricade university – all entrance/exit points blocked -as they mount pressure on institution to solve lecturers’ strike

  • 21 Feb 2018: Govt appoints Prof Mqhele Dlodlo as  substantive Vice Chancellor:

The lack of a proactive and substantive Vice-Chancellor was believed to be a contributing factor in the gross  mismanagement of funds by the institution’s executive, hence the appointment 

  • 16 Feb 2018: Students join strike

Students marched to the university’s administration offices protesting over the impasse.

  • 13 Feb 2018: Nust takes lecturers to the Labour Court

The university responded to the strike by contesting the legality of the industrial action.

  • 7 Feb 2018: Nust lecturers strike for the second time in the same academic year.

Nust lecturers downed tools, alleging mismanagement at the institution- splashing money on luxurious vehicles at the expense of students’ learning materials and equipment –  which they said was crippling the university’s operations. 

  • 29 Jan 2018: 2nd Semester of academic year commences.

Second semester commenced amidst high expectations given the new political dispensation in the country