THE pain that has been caused to some of us by learned professionals at the University of Zimbabwe’s History department has led me to write this letter for the country to know.
These professionals have since last year deliberately denied at least six students their degrees through controversial tactics that have admittedly been successful. They have deliberately failed those perceived to be a threat to the department’s staff and their ideologies. It is against this background that I have decided to expose the lecturers at UZ who have undermined the integrity of the institution through unethical practices.
Since I am one of those affected, I feel the department owes us, our parents and this country an explanation. These so-called historians, most of them Zanu PF adherents, had problems with some of our topics because they carried political innuendoes. Some of our topics discussed labour, student activism, oppressive security laws and human rights and democracy issues.
I believe it is not criminal to subscribe to a certain ideology. These professionals, who also happen to be very good cyclists because they can neither afford transport costs nor own cars, have the following as their dogma: how bad whites are, how they appropriated our ancestors’ land, how racist and oppressive their governments were, without appreciating how equally bad the post-colonial black government is.
These fascist lecturers dictated topics to be written and overrode the supervisor’s opinion on our work.
Secondly, may the UZ authorities investigate corruption that has bedevilled the department. The award of Special Honours and Masters’ degrees is marred by corruption. For example, a certain female student was enrolled for a Special Honours degree under dubious circumstances. She was not even among the best students in her class.
As if that was not enough, she was given the privilege to teach us even though she did not have an honours degree. Her only qualification was her association with a Bulawayo-based professor, a former history lecturer.
She had the cheek to tell me “that is why we failed you”. My supervisor, who is very much into Zanu PF politics, once told me: “You will never pass because of your attitude.” May UZ authorities explain to the country whether lecturers are allowed to make such remarks to their students?
I conclude by reminding these vindictive lecturers that taking away and stealing students’ degrees through nefarious means is an injustice. It is not a crime that some of your students belong to the opposition or don’t subscribe to your political ideologies.
You cannot stop or arrest the winds of change through silencing and victimising your political opponents.