By Johannes Chin’ombe
Masvingo, October 28, 2016 – ZIMBABWEAN President and Chancellor of all State Universities, Robert Mugabe on Friday capped 2 078 Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) students during a ceremony in which his security barred students, journalists and visitors from carrying ball point pens and cigarettes into the venue.
Speaking during institution’s 10th graduation ceremony, GZU Vice Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo lamented how women were dropping from their studies due to acute financial problems.
“This year GZU has 2 078 graduates which marks an increase from the 2015 graduation which capped 1 883 students. Of the graduating students, 49.5% are women. It is however sad to note that a large number of female students have been deferring from their studies due to financial constraints.
“The nation however needs educated women. So parents, spouses and sponsors, please, please, please, keep you women in their degree programs,” Zvobgo said.
In a similar style as that experienced from Lupane State University (LSU), security agents barred pens or pieces of paper and even lip-stick from the venue, probably fearing these could be used to produce offensive banners against President Robert Mugabe.
Journalists were also not spared from the same fate.
Security officers at the entry points claimed they had been ordered not to allow pens into the venue.
Activists however said Mugabe should just bow down and accept that he is no longer wanted.
“This is nonsense. They even took my cigarettes. Until when do they think they will protect him from disgruntled students who are not guaranteed jobs after graduating? Citizens on the other hand are also bitter. I do not think all they are doing to protect his image works because it’s no longer a secret that Mugabe has failed the nation,” said one activist.
Added one lecturer, “All lecturers came because the university threatened anyone who does not come for the ceremony. No one wants to be involved in anything to do with the President.
“As lecturers, he has failed us in many aspects including delayed payments and the university wants us to attend the gathering smiling at him as if everything is normal. It’s bad.”
GZU has a current enrolment of 15 000 up from 4 000 in 2012.