A senior official has taken the UZ to court after she was suspended over President Mugabe’s graduation cap. The UZ claimed Mugabe’s cap of knowledge was too small. Deputy registrar (academic), Ngaatendwe Takawira has since filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking the stay of a disciplinary hearing against her, which started on Monday this week, and is set to continue today if the application is not granted in her favour.
Takawira is being charged with contravening section 4 (a) of Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006.
“The charge letter specifies that the vice-chancellor (Levi Nyagura) instructed me to procure a new cap for the Chancellor since I had provided a small cap in 2014 for the Chancellor. It is also alleged that I failed to procure the correct-sized caps for the Chancellor for the 2015 graduation ceremony,” she said in her founding affidavit.
Takawira, however, argued that she was not the one who had procured Mugabe’s headgear and also maintained that the cap Mugabe wore for this year’s graduation ceremony fitted snugly.
“As I have indicated above, the reports that were compiled, more specifically the registrar’s report, show that the registrar is the one who interacted with the Chancellor’s office for the purpose of getting the correct size for the Chancellor’s headgear,” she argues.
“Further, the said report shows that the 2014 cap that the Chancellor eventually wore for the 2015 graduation ceremony fitted perfectly well.”
Takawira said following an investigation by herself, the registrar, examinations officer and a Mrs Motsi compiling reports, she was charged and invited to attend a disciplinary hearing on October 26, 2015.
“I aver that a perusal of the said reports shows that no one in the said reports imputes any fault on me,” she said. “The said reports clearly show that at all material times I acted on the instruction of the Vice-Chancellor with respect to searching for the cap that the Chancellor had used in the previous graduation ceremonies and finally instructing that a new cap be procured by the registrar, with respect to sizes for the cap.
“The said reports also reveal that I had the caps for the Chancellor made as per the sizes that the registrar gave me.”
In his certificate of urgency, Harare lawyer, Tatenda Nhemachena, urged the court to grant the application, arguing there were forces that were “baying for Takawira’s blood” and as such, the hearing would not be fair and impartial.
“My reasons for the above position are that the said committee is made up of people who are all, except for the council member, subordinates of the university Vice-Chancellor. This committee is also handpicked by the vice-chancellor,” Nhemachena said.