Category Archives: NEWS

Revoke Grace Mugabe PHD: Student Body

by Costa Nkomo

THE framing Grace Mugabe as a powerful politician by the state media after assuming the position of Zanu PF Women’s League Secretary in 2014 was not sufficient to win the assent of the Zimbabweans. Instead, it resulted in backlash.

From a typist in the office of the president, to a lavish personality reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, spouse to the French king, Louis XVI of the 1770’s; various interpretations have been made of Mrs Mugabe’s character before and after her controversial marriage to Robert Mugabe in 1996.

Some have called her a woman of lose morals. Others, varsity students included, have made a parody of Grace’s rags-to-riches persona, which seems to have struck a hornet’s nest across the country.

In a bid to side-track this given background, Grace Mugabe was accorded a PhD at the University of Zimbabwe in 2014 and soon became known as ‘Doctor Amai,’ a narrative the state media believed to be more appealing to the masses This was a clear imposition of a character that never was.

Later that year, in the so-called ‘Meet the People Tour’ rallies in which Mrs Mugabe single handed purged the then Vice President, Joice Mujuru from Zanu PF, she failed to acquire and exhibit the voice and behaviour of a PhD holder.

‘…Mrs Mugabe’s thesis is alleged to be non-existent…’ 

Mrs Mugabe’s thesis, entitled: ‘The changing social structure, the functions of the family: The case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe’ is however, alleged to be non-existent.  Students have called for it to be availed to them for the past three years, to no avail.

The conferment of PhDs to academics takes a long and strenuous route in which writing the final thesis requires a minimum of three years. For one to pass, they should have made a significant input to the intellectual fountain.

 But, for Mrs Mugabe, it took her only three months.  Her husband, then Chancellor of all universities, accorded her a doctorate, a development  that struck the raw nerve of student activists across the country and took the media by storm in its various formats. On social media, students and other concerned academics blatantly called it “fake degree”.

“By dubiously getting a PhD from the UZ to boost her political and presidential ambitions, Grace Mugabe compromised UZ” said Director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, quoting Opa Muchinguri’s words.

Students and academics are lobbying the University of Zimbabwe to revoke Grace Mugabe’s PhD degree as soon as possible.

‘…Professor Levi Nyagura, UZ Vice Chancellor, must apologise and resign…’

The groups are also demanding an explanation from  Professor Levi Nyagura, UZ Vice Chancellor,  to  ‘clear the air’ on how  Mrs Mugabe was accorded the PhD.

Zimbabwe Congress of Student Union (Zicosu) led by President Takudzwa Gambiza demanded for the immediate revocation of Mrs Mugabe’s PhD which they perceive as a threat to Zimbabwe’s cherished education system.

“It’s of paramount importance that the fake PhD should be revoked, and a public apology issued by those who committed that heinous academic fraud”, Gambiza said.

Zicosu treasurer general, Godknows Mudhari also said academic achievements accrue as a result of hard work only.

“It is uttermost disrespect when fellow students are awarded such degrees on a silver platter,” said Mudhari. If this thesis is not authenticated then the degree should be revoked or UZ should award all of us the same degree for free.”

Fast forward to November 2017, having proved to the nation and the rest of the globe, that she was not nearer to being a PhD holder, Mrs Mugabe committed political suicide by unleashing venom on the person of the then Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move that catalysed the liberation of Zimbabweans from an impending Mugabe dynasty.

 

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#CurrentSitutation: UZ Students Strike,Refuse to write exams until Mugabe steps down

STUDENTS at the University of Zimbabwe have called off exams until President Robert Mugabe steps down.

The students are also demanding that Grace Mugabe’s PHD be revoked and that  Levi Nyagura, Vice Chancelor of the institution should resign.

Grace’s degree attracted intense criticism and speculation after claims that she did not write a thesis and did not take the required period of time to complete it.

According to press reports, Nyagura is perceived to be Mugabe’s ally and also thought to be complicit in suppressing dissent at the university.

Grace Mugabe graduated with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology in 2014.

University of Zimbabwe students say they do not want any external interference in their demo.

MSU dismisses Zodwa waBantu dissertation reports

“It has come to the attention of the University that a dissertation cover page with the title “An analysis of Facebook debates on Zodwa wa Bantu’s ban from Zimbabwe’s Harare Festival … is circulating on social media”

Patrick Chitumba|Chronicle

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) has dismissed reports that it received a dissertation with a title “An analysis of Facebook debates on Zodwa wa Bantu’s ban from Zimbabwe’s Harare Festival” that is circulating on the social media.

In a press statement yesterday, MSU said the University does not distribute or share submissions or dissertations wholly or in part, with the public through non-official platforms.

The MSU statement comes after an image allegedly of a front cover of a dissertation by a student started circulating on social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

The image purports that a student wrote the dissertation after South African entertainment queen Zodwa wa Bantu was denied permission by the Government to perform at the Harare Festival that was held last month.

Reads part of the press statement from MSU: “It has come to the attention of the University that a dissertation cover page with the title “An analysis of Facebook debates on Zodwa wa Bantu’s ban from Zimbabwe’s Harare Festival” that is purported to be a cover page of a dissertation submitted to MSU, is circulating on social media and this has led to unfortunate and misinformed speculations about the institution, staff and students.

“The impression that has been created on social media, as a result of the viral image, is that the University has received a document with the said cover page or it has already been examined. While we acknowledge the amount of interest this viral image has created, we wish to bring to the attention of our publics a few points that may assist in framing the discussions.”

The submission of dissertations or any other examinable material is done through clearly-defined procedures and to designated offices where such submissions are recorded.

“Students are still working towards the submission of their dissertations for examination. All successfully completed dissertations — those which would have passed the test of rigour and quality — are submitted to the University and can be accessed from our institutional repository via the University library. Because dissertations are examination documents, the University does not distribute or share them, wholly or in part, with the public through non-official platforms.

“Students work on their dissertations for a minimum period of two semesters although the actual writing takes place in their final semester when they register for the dissertation module.

“The University upholds the spirit of creativity, ingenuity and academic freedom, for both students and staff, as long as these meet set conditions for quality and rigour. We have a tested system of checks and balances to achieve these goals. Therefore, a research on any topic or theme will still be tested for these conditions,” reads the statement.

Police shoot at ‘Nust student cum taxi driver hired by gang of armed robbers’

by Andile Tshuma|  Chronicle 

A STUDENT from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo is lucky to be alive after police opened fire on his pirate taxi, hours after he had been hired by alleged armed robbers who are suspected to have used his vehicle as a getaway car.

Police pounced on Mr Riyacha Takaedza, a Journalism student who doubles as a part time taxi driver, as he was driving along Gwanda Road opposite Ascot Shopping Centre last Wednesday after he failed to comply with their orders to stop. The student did not comply as he was not aware that those stopping him were police officers as they were moving in a private car. Police then fired some shots towards his car, forcing him to stop and he was immediately arrested and taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station.

Unknown to Mr Takaedza, four men who hired him earlier in the day were armed robbers and people who spotted him with them gave police his vehicle’s number plate which was used to launch a manhunt.

…When they fired the first shot, I told myself that I was breathing my last and I had met my fate…

In a telephone interview, Mr Takaedza narrated to The Chronicle events leading to what he termed his near death experience which occurred at around 11:30PM and saw him being released by the police on Friday.

“I was intercepted by police officers in a black car who signalled for me to stop. Since it was late in the night, I did not stop, and they opened fire at us.

When they fired the first shot, I told myself that I was breathing my last and I had met my fate. I was taken to the station where I then spent a terrible night going through a series of interrogations,” said Mr Takaedza.

“I was roughed up, some officer slapped me when we were still at the spot where I was arrested at Ascot Shopping Centre robots. One officer kicked me on my behind. I received some nasty treatment. I think they were convinced I was a thug and for them to believe my story took a lot of convincing.”

Mr Takaedza said he suspected that police had been acting on a tip off, leading to them arresting him after following his car along the City-Nust route that he plies.

He said earlier, a gang of four men approached him and asked to be taken to a city hotel where they said they wanted to process a deal they did not disclose.

Mr Takaedza said he took them to their destination and waited outside, before they came back. He left them at another spot in the city centre not knowing that he was assisting people on a robbery mission.

“I got paid so I complied and took them to Standard hotel. I have no idea what they were up to when they got there. However, we had to leave in a rush to some other place. When I got my money we parted ways,” he said.

“You know in this business you just get hired to ferry people to places and I didn’t know at that point that I was helping criminals to execute a robbery.”

Mr Takaedza said he was released the following day and police told him they may summon him back again.

Although he declined to disclose the other people he had when he was arrested, a close friend who declined to be named said she was with him and two other friends when it happened.

“I was so scared. I could not take a picture of the scene. We were stopped by CIDs in a black Mercedes Benz car. They stopped us and cuffed him. I have never seen real guns like those, let alone hear shots being fired. I’m glad he stopped because we could have all been killed there,” she said.

Social media was awash on Friday and Saturday with messages circulating among Nust students that Mr Takaedza had been arrested for armed robbery.

Some of the messages claimed that he had been killed in a shootout.

“Those things damage a person’s reputation. It’s not fair. I am a well-known person around Nust circles because I have served in the Students Representative Council. I would just love to let those that know me and care about my welfare that I am alive and safe, I have gone through a really tough time over the past few days. However, it shall pass,” said Mr Takaedza.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said the matter had not yet been brought to her attention.

Nust Director of Communication and Marketing, Mr Felix Moyo, said he was out of town on business and was not aware of the matter.—@andile_tshuma | Featured image -file pic Bulawayo24 News

 

Residents object to construction of Nust hostels

PROPERTY owners in Bulawayo’s Selbourne Park, Matsheumhlope and Riverside, have objected to the proposed construction of halls of residence for National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students in their area, saying this would cause overpopulation and a spike in the crime rate.

BY SHARON SIBINDI | Newsday

Local councillor, Silas Chigora said most property owners in the area were against the construction of hostels by Zimre Property Investment Limited and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ ).

“The residents are against the move, saying crime will increase in the area. To make matters worse, Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Zimre managing director, Edson Muvingi said the hostels were not exclusively for Nust students, but would benefit students from other tertiary institutions.

“…Crime will increase in the area … Gwanda Road is always busy and just imagine 3 000 people crossing that road every day. At times accidents may occur..,” 

“We are not intending to build accommodation exclusively for Nust students. There are about eight major tertiary institutions that we are targeting. There is a serious student accommodation crisis in Bulawayo and our model provides for custom-made, study-friendly facilities,” he said.

“Currently, students are accommodated in all manner and form of accommodation at pre-emptive rentals. So many students are already renting within these specific areas. Nust and other tertiary institutions are excited about the prospects of such private investments. I may not be able to address questions relating to perceived personal gain or loss.

“We are informed that the university is also securing land for student accommodation off campus. Our investment model is long term, where we hold the structures in perpetuity and benefit from both rental and capital value appreciation or a reasonable terminal value.

“The profile of our investors also requires so, as they have long-term liability profiles. In an unstable economic environment, on campus built, operate and transfer arrangements, where the tenure for recovery of both capital and profit is fixed, can be a nightmare. We have had the benefit of our experience.”

VOTER REGISTRATION CENTER OPENS AT NUST

by Andile Tshuma | @andile_tshuma

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has set up a Biometric Voter Registration Centre at the National University of Science and Technology to make it easier for students to part take in the voter registration exercise.

The voter registration exercise commenced yesterday at the institution and is set to run for 16 days.

National University of Science and Technology Director of Communication and Marketing Mr Felix Moyo said it was noble and important for ZEC to bring the voter registration to the campus as it had a high population of youths and members of staff who were eligible to vote.

“It is such a good gesture that they have shown us and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission id very welcome here at NUST. We have been a polling station before so we are very much in support and are very patriotic to all such causes for our country,” said Mr Moyo.

“We hope that the students will make use of this opportunity and register while we still have this facility on campus,” said Mr Moyo just after completing his registration.”

Mr Moyo urged students at the university and from other institutions to make use of the facility as voting was an integral part of them having a say in their future.

“It is very important for youths to take such matters seriously as they are the custodians of the future, The youths should be engaged in such processes as they are molded into becoming tomorrow’s adults. We hope that the students will make use of this opportunity and register while we still have this facility on campus,” said Mr Moyo just after completing his registration.

Bulawayo initially had one voter registration centre however, ZEC has since set up 68 voter registration centres across the city and 2508 centres countrywide.

The voter registration Blitz is set to end on October 26.

The electoral body’s chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, said the second phase will be held from October 29 to November 13, whilst the third phase will run from November 16 to December 1, with the last phase running from December to December 19.

She urged political parties to advise their members of the various forms of proof of residence required for the exercise.

Campus News Round-Up (1- 7 September 2017)

Welcome to the weekly Campus news of the week roundup here at Campus Moments Magazine. There are around 40 polytechnics, colleges and universities in Zimbabwe. Here’s a snapshot of the most compelling stories that happened on campus around the country this week, according to the institutions’ social media pages.

MSU LANDS TOP FILM AND THEATRE AWARDS

The Midlands State University Film and Theatre Arts Department put on a sterling performance at the One Act Play and Music Festival and Zimbabwe International Film and Festival, held on the 2nd of September 2017 at Charles Austin Theatre, in Masvingo.

The team comprising, Alson Muchato a level 4:2 student, Mitchel Mungeni level 1:1 and Nicole Jamu level 4:1 won the best actors and actress awards respectively, beating Great Zimbabwe University, Charles Austin Theatre, Campbell Theatre Club, Donvan Theatre, REPS Theatre among others to emerge as the 2017 champions.

In the same vein and in keeping with the University’s winning ways, the Department of Film and Theatre Arts’ College Central also won an International award during the joint Zimbabwe International Film and Festival (ZIFF) and Intentional Images Film Festival (IIFF)which ran from the 26th of August to the 2nd of September 2017, in Harare under the theme ‘The Business of Film’. The short film, ‘Things we do for love’ which was co-produced by Mr Godknows Chera and Mr Tawanda Musimwa and directed by Derby Bheta, a level 4:2 student scooped top honours in the Hi-5 category.

DREAMSTAR TALENT SHOW SET FOR CUT

The School of Art and Design at CUT is set to host the Dreamstar Talent Show at the CUT Hotel on the 6th of September 2017 from 10am to 4pm.

Dreamstar is a talent search show hosted by the Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe, the Embassy of China, Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation, and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

This audition is for CUT students only, and the winner will walk away with USD $300 and a chance to compete in the semifinals of the competition

Why 92% of #Twimbos think Robert Mugabe University is a misplaced priority

92% of Zimbabweans on twitter think that the proposed $1 billion dollar university in honour of  Robert Mugabe is misplaced, according to our poll.

Here are some of the reasons why citizens are against the initiative:

However, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Prof Jonathan Moyo justified the Robert Mugabe university saying:

Furthermore…

The few who sympathised with cabinet’s decision to grant quarter of the nation’s budget to build the institution said:

See more below:

T Gonz for Inter Varsity Shake off Winter Party

Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Harare, 24 July 2017 – Award winning T. Gonz is set to perform at the inaugural Inter Varsity Shake Off Winter Party taking place at Big Apple in Harare CBD on July 28, 2017.

The Hipu Hopu yekughetto proponent, T. Gonz, known for his hard hitting ghetto inspired lyrics will share the stage with Rich Nusty Swagga, university and college based Djs and musicians.

Always to be held on the last coldest month of the year, just before Spring, the event has been aptly dubbed Inter Varsity Shake Off Winter Party. It is also happening at a time when students in local universities, colleges and poly have either just finished their end of semester exams or enjoying vacation.

Crispen Rateiwa, event organiser and founding chairperson of College Youth Art Club (CYAC), said preparations for the first ever annual Inter Varsity Shake Off Winter Party were going on well.

“CYAC has decided to establish an annual blockbuster Inter Varsity Shake Off Winter Party for every year in July. Our events are more than just entertainment. The main aim is to have all tertiary students doing different degree or diploma programmes in Zimbabwe tertiary institutions network and connect while enjoying great music in a purely entertainment venue,” said Mr. Rateiwa.

College Youth Art Club has been holding oversubscribed Inter Varsity events mainly because it subsidises entry charges to all tertiary level students.

Turning to critics who associate partying with immorality, Crispen Rateiwa aslo known as R. Crisp pointed out that the shows are for mature people, voluntary and mainly meant for networking with current and former tertiary level students. All those with student IDs will get into the party after paying only a $1. Non-students pay $2.

“Besides dancing the night away, these events spur business engagement and project collaborations among students and general members of society as people discuss business ideas over drinks in a chilled and relaxed manner.  When students from different majors link up and create entrepreneurial friendships it is beneficial to them and the nation,” said Mr. Rateiwa.

tgonza.jpg

Formed in 2015 at NUST, College Youth Art Club has spread wings to all tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. It houses literary, performing and visual artistes as well as organising performing opportunities for student artistes so that they supplement living allowances they receive from parents/guardians.

Some of the popular activities that CYAC runs are Going To The Movies, Miss Inter Varsity and many tertiary level themed events.  It also publishes a weekly entertainment guide on its facebook page, http://www.facebook.co/College-Youth -Art-Club-CYAC-TV. Moreover, it is open to partnership with any club or society or company in event planning, coordination, promotion, marketing, management and product or service awareness programs.

Contact: Crispen Rateiwa, Whatsapp number:0782 233 111, email: crisrateiwa@gmail.com

UZ Chancellor AU donation could have paid fees for 2000 students

Press Release|Zinasu Information Department| University of Zimbabwe

President Mugabe’s 1 million dollar donation to the African Union which sent tongues wagging this week could have paid school fees for at least 2 000 students, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has claimed.

This comes after medicine students recently held protests over their inability to pay high fees at the University of Zimbabwe(UZ), leading to the arrest and detention of several student leaders, among them Zinasu spokesperson Zivai Mhetu and UZ Students’ Union treasurer  general Ignatious Mukwichi and secretary for sports Kudakwashe Guta.

President Mugabe, who also doubles as the UZ Chancellor, could have used the 1 million to pay fees for 2 000 struggling students at the biggest university in the country if he really had their plight at heart, Zinasu spokeperson, Mr Zivai Mhetu, said.

Not more than a week ago students were up in arms at UZ because they are unable to pay the increasingly unaffordable tuition fees only to hear that their Chancellor is giving away 1 million dollars to the AU as if he has dealt with all the problems affecting people in his own country.

“Donations should be made by the Bill Gates of this world who have more money than they can spend not Heads of States of impoverished countries whose citizens are wallowing in abject poverty and absolute misery said Mhetu”

Fees for general programmes at UZ were around five hundred dollars meaning that had he chosen to, Mugabe could have paid fees for at least 2 000 students at the institution, many of whom are being forced to defer their studies or drop out completely because of their inability to pay fees.

Countless students are being forced to drop out of school, not at the UZ alone but countrywide. It is against this background that we have been clamouring for grants and loans. But instead of giving us grants and loans the Head of our government and all State Universities is busy dishing out money to international organizations as if he is a one-man donor agency competing with the US-Aid.” said Mhetu.

Students at the tertiary level in Zimbabwe have been dropping out of school en masse due to economic hardships with Zinasu claiming that 12 000 students dropped out of school countrywide in the first quarter of 2016 alone.