Jonathan Moyo threatens to
withhold degree from
protesting UZ Students

Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo has
threatened to withdraw degrees from
graduands who engaged in a wild-cat protest
against President Robert Mugabe during a
graduation ceremony at University of
Zimbabwe on Thursday.
Moyo used Twitter to show his anger over the
students’ actions.
“Just because one is Mr Dombo does not
mean they should throw stones everywhere
anytime. Disrupting a graduation ceremony
can cost a degree!” Moyo warned.
Moyo was referring to former Zimbabwe
National Students’ Union (Zinasu) president
Tonderai Dombo’s unprecedented protest in
which he stood on his chair and waved a
placard in Mugabe’s face demanding jobs.
Mugabe, who is the institution’s chancellor,
was getting ready to cap over 3 000
While there were rumours that at least three
Masters graduates had refused to be capped
by Mugabe, Moyo scoffed at the suggestions.
“The claim that any graduate refused to be
capped at UZ yesterday is only true in the
heads of the lot of fakes out there!” the
Higher Education minister said.
Moyo also took issue with the other
protesters who it appeared he had identified.
“If varsity dropouts like Bill Gates can
create jobs, then graduates like dreadlocked
Thembinkosi Rushwaya should be expected to
do better!” he said, adding a picture of the
other two demonstrators.
Dombo shocked all when he stood on his chair
facing Mugabe and raised a placard with the
words: “Graduates today, marovha
mangwana (loafers tomorrow), tipei mabasa
(give us jobs).”
Mugabe’s aides immediately leapt at Dombo
and whisked him away to avoid further
embarrassing the 92-year-old Zanu PF
leader, whose administration has been under
a barrage of criticism both at home and
Dombo yesterday confirmed he had been
released after paying a $10 fine.
“We slept at Harare Central Police Station
and the three of us along with Alexander
Mukamba and Rushwaya were asked to pay a
fine for criminal nuisance,” Dombo told
Zinasu, through secretary-general
Makomborero Haruzivishe, denounced Dombo’s
arrest, describing it as an infringement of
the student’s rights.
Tajamuka/Sesijikile social movement also
condemned the arrest, arguing Mugabe had
an obligation to provide the 2,2 million jobs
he promised in 2013.
Lawyer and People’s Democratic Party
president Tendai Biti said the UZ could legally
withdraw the degrees.
“It is not possible because those protesters
are no longer students because they have
graduated. They obtained those degrees
because of academic conduct, not as a
donation,” Biti said.
“Even if they were a result of donation there
is still procedures and legal routes to be
followed. They can take away Grace (Mugabe
First Lady)’s degree because it was an
honorary one.”
Mugabe has since July this year braved
demonstrations from members of the public,
political parties and civic groups, bitter over
his alleged misrule, non-delivery of his
government’s promised jobs, police brutality
and government plans to introduce bond
notes despite resistance from the citizens.