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MSU staff morale hits rock bottom

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BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA

STAFF at the Midlands State University (MSU) is reported to have hit rock bottom with lecturers accusing the management of meddling in workers’ union affairs in a bid to destabilise it.

A source close to the matter said interference by the university executives in workers’ union elections had divided workers.

In May this year, the Midlands State University Lecturers Association (MSULA) elected a new executive in line with its constitution, with Arthur Chikerema emerging  as president, deputised by Rutendo Tafirenyika, while Simbarashe Moyo was elected secretary-general, deputised by Julius Mukarati. Joshua Mabonga was elected treasurer.

However, the management refused to recognise the new workers union executive despite it being declared duly elected by electoral college chairperson Timothy Mketwa. The university continued to work with losing candidates.

The executives aligned to the management is led by Farai Ncube as president, Tafirenyika (vice-president), Enkelbert Chinwada (secretary-general) and his deputy Mukarati.

The lecturers said they were living in fear after management recently fired key employees and replaced them with their cronies.

Among those fired are the registrar, bursar, pro vice-chancellors, deputy registrars as well as some deans and directors. They have already been replaced.

Mketwa refused to comment, referring questions to MSU spokesperson despite being told of the availability of an audio in which he announced the results.

“I am not entitled to comment on matters involving the institution. We have a public relations department. You can contact them for comment,” Mketwa said.

MSU spokesperson Mirirai Shorwa Mawere said the union that the executive was working with was duly elected.

“What I know is that the executive working with the management was duly elected. There is no other executive,” Mawere said.

When reminded about the audio announcing the winners, Mawere said she needed to listen to the audio first. “I need to listen to the audio first then I will comment.”

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