Zim College Students on Trial for “Beating Drums”

SEVEN Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) students have been summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee to answer to charges of disorderly conduct after they allegedly beat drums during a demonstration over mismanagement of the institution.

According to a charge sheet prepared by authorities at HIT, the seven students engaged in a disorderly conduct by singing, dancing, chanting slogans and marching from the hostels area to the library disrupting the teaching, study and research at the institution in contravention of section 3.1.3 and section 3.2.2 of the Rules of Student Conduct and Discipline Ordinance 15.

The seven students namely Leeroy Barnete, who is the President of HIT’s Student Representative Council, Tafara Mutembedza, Ashlee Makaya, Anesu Chigumadzi, Saviour Machuwaire, Marvin Madamba and Blessing Kalisi will appear before the Student Disciplinary Committee on Monday 16 December 2019 after a false start to their trial on Tuesday 3 December 2019.

The decision by HIT to haul the students to appear before the students disciplinary committee comes after HIT’s Vice-Chancellor Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe first suspended them on Friday 15 November 2019 on charges of misconduct for allegedly beating drums and singing in a disruptive manner on Tuesday 12 November 2019 and on Thursday 14 November 2019 during a demonstration held over mismanagement of the institution and its failure to supply electricity at the college.

It took the intervention of Kossam Ncube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court on Saturday 16 November 2019 challenging the suspension of the students on the basis that it would prejudice them as they will not be able to write their end of semester examinations scheduled for Monday 18 November 2019 and ending on Friday 29 November 2019.

In court, Ncube protested that the suspension of the students was motivated by ulterior motives ostensibly to ensure that they do not write their end of semester examinations, which they have been preparing for over a long period.

In the end, High Court Judge Justice Erica Ndewere on Saturday 16 November 2019 nullified the suspension of the HIT students and ordered the institution to allow the students to write their end of semester examinations.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights