By Darlington Gatsi
THE feud between University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and its students has taken a new twist with High Court judge, Justice Tawanda Chitapi, ordering the former not to withhold the former’s results on account of non payment of tuition fees.
The UZ Students Representative Council (SRC) dragged the institution to court after tuition fees were increased with some faculties required to pay over half a million dollars in local currency.
The steep rise in tuition fees led to mass demonstrations and boycott of classes with students crying foul leading to the feud spilling into the High Court.
The students were further irked when UZ restricted access to the examination results via its online platform if the students had not settled the arrears of tuition fees they had gazetted.
Friday Chitapi ordered UZ to release examination results to relevant students with a payment plan levied on the previous semester before the fees were hiked.
In his ruling Chitapi also interdicted the hike of fees by UZ pending the court case in which the students are arguing, through their lawyer Tendai Biti, the increase was unconstitutional and unjustified.
“Pending the delivery of judgment in Case No. HC 6194/22 reserved by Hon. Chitapi Jon 30 November, 2022, the 1” respondent shall not enforce tuition fees set out in ordinance No. 63 dated 6 September, 2022.
“The 1 respondent is interdicted from withholding the release of results of the two applicants and other students represented by the 1” applicant on account of non-payment of the tuition fees set out in the ordinance.
“The first applicant’s members and the second applicant shall however be required upon collection of their results to enter into payment arrangements with the first respondent in terms of which they undertake to pay the difference of the tuition fees set out in ordinance 63 and the previous semester fees levied before the ordinance. Each party bears its own cost,” read the judgement.
UZ was cited as first respondent with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education education as the second respondent.