Zimbabwe: Zicosu Anti-Sanctions Indaba Flops

The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) anti-sanctions meeting Wednesday failed to live up to expectations after a low turnout of students from five Masvingo tertiary institutions.

Less than 200 students attended from five colleges and universities.

War veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, who was supposed to grace the event as the guest of honor, didn’t attend the event.

Students from Masvingo Polytechnic, Bondolfi Teachers College, Reformed Church University, Great Zimbabwe University and Zimbabwe Open University, had to wait for guests.

Some students left the auditorium in what seemed to be a protest over the long waiting period which they had endured since morning.

Masvingo Minister of State for Masvingo Ezra Chadzamira and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavhima arrived for the event after 2 pm.

Students from Masvingo Polytechnic and Bondolfi Teachers College were ordered to return to the meeting after being assured the two ministers were on their way to the meeting.

Contacted for comment, ZICOSU Masvingo chairperson Blessed Mlenga said Mutsvangwa could not attend because he was attending to some party business in Harare.

“There is an urgent Politburo meeting which Ambassador Mutsvangwa is attending. The ministers were commissioning buses hence the delay because part of the delegation are from the Public Service Ministry,” Mlenga said.

Meanwhile, journalists who were covering the event were intimidated by rowdy activists for taking pictures.

One female leader who claimed to be the Students Representative Council (SRC) president at Masvingo Polytechnic threatened to assign security at the main gate to lock journalists inside the premises until they delete their content.

Another activist who identified himself as John Guma threatened to sue journalists who would publish stories that there was a low turnout at the event.

“ZICOSU is an organisation which is capable of suing and also being sued. If you abuse what you record from here we will not hesitate to sue you,” he said.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Vice President Godfrey Mtimba condemned the harassment of media practitioners saying it was an act of barbarism.

“We condemn the barbaric act exhibited by rowdy activists who intimidated journalists who were carrying out their duties within the confines of the laws. It boggles our minds that such unions with young people from institutions of higher learning would go so mad. Journalism is not a crime,” Mtimba said.

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