By Mark Mhukayesango
GWERU, November 20, 2015-Whilst others are buying gowns and putting final touches to their
graduation preparations, Midlands State University (MSU) students on
cadetship are likely to miss their big day on Saturday due to
government inability to pay cadetship fees.
Hundreds of students on cadetship came face to face to their
predicament this week after the school website announced that only
paid up students will be able to graduate.
President Robert Mugabe is set to cap over 4 000 students at the
institution on Sartuday, whilst the cadetship students are left out in
the cold after his government failed to pay thousands owed to the
Mugabe’s government owes universities over $60 million in cadetship
arrears and students on the program have been failing to access
importance facilities like library and computers at MSU due to non
payment of fees.
The cadetship program was introduced when government ceased grants in 2008.
“Please note that only graduands whose fees are paid in full will be
allowed to attend the ceremony. The deadline for payment is the 20th
of November 2015,” reads part of the notice to prospective graduands.
Last year hundreds of cadetship students were allowed into the
graduation hall at the last minute.
Speaking to Radio VOP, prospective graduate Nervous Munyavi, 25 of
Budiriro who lost both parents and was enrolled on cadetship program
was saddened with development as his entire family was looking forward
to the day.
“I cannot believe that what i was waiting for all these years would
never materialise. I am the first graduate in my family and this was
going to be a milestone,” a teary Munyavi told Radio VOP.
Munyavi who studied accounting said government should intervene.
“Government should do something to allow us graduate with others. We
worked hard for these degrees and we cannot be robbed at the last
minute,” he said.
Erasmus Mupfiga, MSU Registrar said the position of the was that only
students with fully paid accounts would graduate.
“This is the position of every university in Zimbabwe and we are no
exception. Those with suppressed results cannot graduate unless we are
advised otherwise by the Minister of Higher Education,” he said when
contacted for comment.
Most students on cadetship have their results suppressed hence cannot
view their results and their final score.
Cadetship students will also be bonded for the duration they got
cadetship assistance and will only get photocopies of certificates
which makes it difficult to seek for employment.
“Government should understand that things are difficult and reduce
fees so that everyone can afford university education,” said an MSU
Last month the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology
Jonathan Moyo admitted that government had failed on cadetship.