By Dumisani Nyoni
Lupane, October 25, 2016 – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s security on Friday reportedly confiscated ball point pens from students and visitors who were attending a graduation ceremony at the Lupane State University.
According to students, police searched everyone, including journalists, who wanted to gain entry into the ceremonial hall where the university’s seventh graduation ceremony was being held and took away their pens citing “security” reasons.
“They thoroughly searched us and took away our pens. This was the first time I learnt that pens were not allowed at a graduation ceremony,” said one student who requested anonymity.
Students, however, said the police did not confiscate their cell phones and cameras which are often loathed more where security concerns are high.
Journalists, it is further said, had to approach university authorities so that they could be allowed to use their pens during the ceremony.
Although there were no reasons given for the strange security formality, some said authorities feared a repeat of last month’s University of Zimbabwe (UZ) incident where some students wrote placards denouncing the President.
Five UZ students who were led by former Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) president, Tonderai Dombo, raised placards demanding jobs, as Mugabe, also UZ chancellor, was preparing to cap more than 3 000 students.
The five were reportedly charged by the tertiary institution for misconduct.
Mugabe capped 642 graduands at LSU.
Among the graduands, 20 received masters’ degrees in development studies, while 60% were females.