High court reinstates student leader suspended over food protest

HIGH Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva has ordered Gweru Polytechnic
College to reinstate a student leader who had been suspended for
allegedly leading a protest against poor service at the institution.

Mudzingwa was suspended on Friday 8 November 2019 by Washington
Chandiwana, the Principal of Gweru Polytechnic College, who accused
him of misconduct after he allegedly incited other students to cause
commotion at the institution on Thursday 7 November 2019 following a
meeting which was convened to address some housekeeping issues
pertaining to their stay at the college hostels.

The 21 year-old student leader, who serves in the food committee of
the Student Representative Council, was reportedly vocal about the
situation at the college, where students raised grievances about the
services of the catering company which they argued provided food
services at exorbitant prices and was providing substandard service.

Mudzingwa was forced to engage lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR), who demanded his reinstatement given that his
suspension from college was not supported by the institution’s
regulations.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court, Mudzingwa’s
lawyer Jabulani Mhlanga of ZLHR asked Justice Takuva to nullify the
student leader’s suspension as it had no basis at law and was without
just cause.

Justice Takuva, who presided over the determination of the urgent
chamber application, recently ruled in favour of Mudzingwa and ordered
Gweru Polytechnic College to immediately reinstate him with full
benefits and entitlements of a student which includes attending
lectures.