In May this year Chiyangwa pledged to fork out US$255 910 for the needy students during a public lecture on “Opportunities and Entrepreneurship”.
Chiyangwa was the guest speaker at the public lecture held at the university, just outside Mutare.
Authorities at the United Methodist-run institution said they were not happy with Chiyangwa because the students hade failed to sit for their examinations.
“We all thought Chyangwa was sincere when he promised to pay the fees for the students,” said one senior official at the university. “It is not good for people to play to the gallery on matters that affect children’s lives. We are very disappointed.”
While addressing the students Chiyangwa claimed he had been touched by the plight of the students and had decided to intervene and pay their fees.
He also promised to set up a revolving fund to assist AU students venture into small businesses during the course of their studies.
“We want you to write your exams and graduate in June, but there is a crisis as most of you have not paid exam fees. I will be making concerted efforts to address and redress the crisis so as to bail you out,” the usually boastful Chiyangwa said, amid loud cheers, ululations and whistling from the gallery.
“The intention of my intervention is to see you successfully graduate and pursue the goals and dreams for which you studied at college. I am going to be the conduit to have the funding in place and mitigate the June exams crisis.”
After Chiyangwa’s pledges the AU’s dean of students, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, said she was happy that the students had been “rescued” by the Harare businessman.
She said the affected students were being barred from accessing such university facilities as attending lectures, halls of residence and dining halls.
She said the most affected were the third and final year final semester students.
But after making the pledges that were widely covered in the media, AU authorities said Chiyangwa was now uncooperative to the extent of not taking calls from the university.