AUTHORITIES at Bulawayo Polytechnic have reversed their decision to expel a motor mechanics student for alleged misconduct after Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights intervened.
BY SILAS NKALA
Lawson Machida, a mechanical engineering student at Bulawayo Polytechnic was expelled on November 4 by the college principal Gilbert Mabasa.
He was also suspended from enrolling on any course with the college for two years because of his bad behaviour.
ZLHR Lawyer Jabulani Mhlanga, representing Machida challenged the institution’s decision to suspend and expel him.
In a letter to Mabasa, Mhlanga argued that Machida had only been summoned to testify as a witness on October 12 in a case in which a student at Bulawayo Polytechnic had been brought before a disciplinary hearing for allegedly assaulting the institution’s matron.
“Even though Machida was a witness and not subjected to disciplinary proceedings, the disciplinary committee digressed from its mandate and made an adverse finding against Machida based on his testimony as a witness during the hearing and held that he behaved in a manner unbefitting a student,” Mhlanga argued.
“The student was not subjected to any disciplinary hearing in terms of the law and was never given any notice or advised that he was under any investigation or disciplinary process for committing acts of misconduct.”
The human rights lawyer said the expulsion of Machida, without following due processes, was a clear violation of his constitutional rights, in particular the right to education guaranteed in section 75 of the Constitution and the right to administrative justice provided in section 68 of the Constitution.
In response to Mhlanga’s letter, Mabasa conceded that his institution had erred in expelling and suspending Machida.
He said the institution had reinstated him to continue pursuing his studies at institution.