Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
There was commotion at Midlands State University (MSU) yesterday when students staged a demonstration over the institution’s decision to bar some of them from writing end of semester examinations because of fees arrears. The examinations start today.

MSU security personnel were involved in running battles with the students who protested through song and dance outside the administration bloc, before they stormed Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa’s office. The university’s security personnel had to call in police to help them contain the situation after some of the students turned violent. When The Herald visited the university in the evening, police were still milling around the campus, monitoring the situation.

“The college is refusing to register us so that we can write examinations arguing that only students who have paid three quarters of the fees are allowed to register,” said one of the students in an interview. The majority of us have not paid that much and we can’t imagine failing to write examinations over fees.” The students said the university should come up with a payment plan instead of barring them from writing examinations.

“It’s in-humane on the part of management, we should be allowed to write,” said another student. “They should just withhold our results than barring us from sitting for the exams. The economic situation is hard for everyone, so they should show a human face.” MSU public relations director Mrs Mirirai Mawere said the demonstration was done by a handful of students who were quickly contained. She said the university had been putting up notices to encourage students who were in arrears to approach Government institutions which offer loans or come up with payment plans.

“The notices were a way of making students who have not been paying fees for some time to come up with a payment plan. We have over 20 000 students, but an insignificant number demonstrated over the decision. We have been lenient as an institution, taking cognisance of the prevailing economic situation and said those who are paid up to last semester can write exams. These are some of the lenient measures that any institution would put for students to make a commitment, but if you come tomorrow everything would be normal, students will be writing their exams,” said Mrs Mawere.

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