Home General Harare Poly students disgruntled over principal’s conduct

Harare Poly students disgruntled over principal’s conduct

by Kudakwashe Vhenge

By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa

Harare Polytechnic students have expressed their disapproval of the institution’s principal Tafadzwa Mudondo amid claims he intimidates and victimizes learners. 

This follows after two students Yolanda Musithu and Blessing Pasipanodya were suspended last week for failing to follow Covid-19 guidelines. 

The two were seen hugging on campus.

According to reports Musithu and Pasipanodya were suspended after the principal accused them of violating the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government’s Covid-19 protocols.

However, several students who felt the punishment was too harsh have demanded that their collogues’ suspension be lifted.

In an interview with Bustop TV, one student who spoke on the condition of anonymity, complained about the principal’s mistreatment of students.
He also said Mudondo has personalized the institution by stipulating his rules and regulations despite that the college has a constitution. 

Furthermore, he also complained that the principal has refused to grant them permission to see or read the Harare Polytechnic constitution, thereby violating Section 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which stipulated that every citizen has the right to access any information held by the state or by any institution.

According to the student, the Students Representative Council (SRC) once approached Mudondo several times to have a look at the constitution, however in response to their requisition he allegedly threatened to expel them.

“The principal intimidates students and this has left a number of students at Harare Poly living in fear whenever there are the college premises. 

“He rules the college as if it belongs to him forgetting that it must be governed by its constitution since it exists. When students request to see the constitution he refuses, he has withheld it for quite sometime now, no student has ever seen the school constitution.

“Several times the SRC has approached the principal in regard with the constitution but they were either threatened with expulsion or the principal replied that whoever wants to see it should come to his office,” he said.

Moreover, he also revealed that apart from the two students who were recently suspended, the principal has used improper channels to expel many students without a fair hearing or trial.

“The principal always cites SI 81 of 1999 Chapter 28:2(7) which stipulates that the principal may temporarily or permanently exclude, remove or expel any student from the institution in the opinion of the principal,” he added.

He then seeked the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to intervene and assess the situation at Harare Poly. 

“Another issue is how the security guards have enormous power over students, they torment and ill  treat them. It is a disgusting situation at Harare Polytechnic. The guards also mercilessly harrass students, they either take students’ IDs without any serious cases only to punish them by submitting the IDs to the principal at the end students get punished or suspended.”

When reached for a comment Mudondo said, “I am not in position to comment because I do not know who I am talking to. Thank you.”

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