MSU bans pens, cosmetics at graduation ceremony

BY Stephen Chadenga

THE Midlands State University (MSU) has banned the carrying of ballpoint pens, a range of cosmetics, cameras and other objects at its upcoming graduation ceremony as part of security measures, Southern Eye has established.

“Please, be advised that the Midlands State University 2019 first graduation ceremony will be held on July 12, 2019 at the main campus, Multi-Purpose Hall, in Gweru,” MSU said in a notice.

“Please, note that the following items will not be allowed into the graduation venue: Lipstick and perfume containers, sharp objects, knives, ballpoint pens and cameras.”

The banning of such items was introduced in 2017 following an embarrassing incident where former President Robert Mugabe was ambushed by placard-waving graduands at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).

The UZ graduands were protesting against government’s failure to resolve the country’s high unemployment crisis.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as chancellor of all State universities, who appears to be following in Mugabe’s footsteps by introducing tight security measures, is expected to officiate at the graduation ceremony.

In 2016, MSU graduands and their parents, who had not been served with a prior notice, were subjected to rigorous body searches by State security agents with a range of cosmetics, hair combs, toilet paper and earphones being seized by police officers manning the venue entrances.

During the same year, students at the National University of Science and Technology and journalists covering the graduation ceremony also had their pens confiscated by State security agents.

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