Zim universities hold off lectures as army takes control

2017-11-15 10:48


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Harare - Zimbabwean universities advised students to stay at home on Wednesday as the uniformed forces in the country took over power after announcing on state broadcaster, ZTV, early on Wednesday that they were "targeting criminals" around President Robert Mugabe. 

The takeover of the state broadcaster by the military followed a statement by President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party on Tuesday evening saying General Constantino Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, had displayed "treasonous conduct".

This was after Chiwenga issued a statement on Monday criticising the sacking of Zanu-PF party members who participated in the liberation war.

On Wednesday morning, the University of Zimbabwe said in a texted message to students that exams scheduled for today had been deferred until further notice. This comes as the military, rolling in tankers and heavily armed cordoned off access roads to parliament, state radio stations and the broadcasting center among other key areas

"Please note that exams that were supposed to be written today have been deferred until further notice. I will keep you posted on any other developments as we assess the situation on the ground," the University of Zimbabwe told students.

The Women’s University in Africa, situated near the Support Unit para-military base, which was said to be cordoned off, also told students not to come for lectures until the situation had improved. Examinations at the university had not yet started.

"As a result of the ongoing political uncertainty throughout the night and in consultation with the US Embassy and the actions of other organisations, the Women’s University in Africa will remain closed on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 November 15 2017," the university said.

The university highlighted that as a result of this "all students and faculty are advised to remain home" while information regarding Thursday's lectures would be "sent as the situation is assessed".

However, most schools in Harare were open although others had reportedly texted parents to keep their children at home. In other parts of the city, people went about their business as usual amid a tense state of affairs.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  constantino chiwenga  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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