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Student wallops lecturer

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The trial of a Great Zimbabwe University student leader accused of beating the university’s Dean of Students with a sjambok continued yesterday with the defence calling for his discharge at the close of the State’s case.

Prosper Tiringindi (24) was brought to court on assault charges after reportedly beating up his lecturer whom he is said to have accused of not addressing their concerns over a proposed increase in fees.
In addition, Tiringindi faces another charge of malicious damage to property.

He denies both charges. Appearing for the State, Moreblessing Rusere told the court on November 1 last year, Tiringindi, then secretary-general of the Students’ Representative Council, went to the Dean of Students, Lovemore Chirove, at the university’s main campus at around 4pm and assaulted him with a sjambok.

On the count of malicious damage to property, the State alleges Tiringindi, on the same day at around 6pm, spilled a dish of beef prepared at the dining hall meant for the students’ supper. The value of the beef was $150.

Tiringindi is also alleged to have proceeded to the Faculty of Commerce two days later where he was handed a letter of suspension by a secretary, Stella Magura, whom he is also alleged to have assaulted together with the university registrar, a Ms Zanawe.

He was arrested immediately after the incident. His defence counsel, Collen Maboke, however, argued the charges were concocted by the university officials to avert a possible strike by the students over an increase in tuition fees.

Maboke stated the student leader had given the university officials an ultimatum to address a plethora of grievances the students had raised.

For his alibi, Tiringindi told presiding magistrate Timeon Makunde on the particular day, he was attending a Zimbabwe National Students’ Union workshop in Harare and was not at the campus.

“The State closed its case and we gave a notice to apply for my client’s discharge at the close of the State case. The State failed to prove essential elements of the offenses,” said Maboke.

Magistrate Makunde is expected to give judgment today.

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