15 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Madzore Back At U.Z After 'Political Hiccup'

OPPOSITION MDC-T youth assembly leader Solomon Madzore has been re-admitted at the University of Zimbabwe, enabling him to complete his studies after a "politically motivated hiccup".

Madzore confirmed in an interview with New Zimbabwe.com that he had resumed his studies.

"I have been re-admitted. After the initial denial by authorities to allow me to pursue my studies following my release from custody, I continued to follow-up the issue with the registrar and it paid off," said Madzore adding he was relieved to be able to complete his studies and move on with his life.

"It was an unfortunate situation that should never have been allowed. Nobody deserves that because I thought I was presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts but some people thought otherwise. This is the kind of mentality we are fighting."

The fiery youth leader was last year denied permission to continue with his studies by the University of Zimbabwe ostensibly to allow his criminal case to be concluded. He had been arrested in connection with the murder of a policeman in May 2011.

The youth leader became part of the group of MDC-T activists now referred to as the Glen View 29 charged with inspector Petros Mutedza's murder as political temperatures rose in the opposition hot-bed of Glen View.

Madzore was released late 2012 on bail from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu ruled that his alibi was plausible. He, along with 21 other party activists, were the subsequently found not guilty of the charges.

In a letter written by the deputy registrar in January last year the UZ said: "(We) regret to inform you that your application for resumption of studies was unsuccessful."

Madzore, who spent more than 400 days in remand prison, should have completed his studies in 2012 Social Work were it not for the long incarceration.

"I had been left with only one semester and now authorities are denying me my right to education," Madzore said at the time. "Some people at the college told me that the reason I cannot complete my degree is because I am still on trial."

He compared his situation to that of President Robert Mugabe and a host of other nationalists who were allowed to obtain degrees while they were doing time in prison.

"Mugabe was facing numerous charges in the 1970s but the racist Rhodesian government allowed him to study while in prison. My situation is different because I am out on remand but I cannot be allowed to study," he said.

"I don't know whether the UZ is now an extension of the office of the Attorney General because they are continuing with my persecution," Madzore said.

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