UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) students wrote part one of their examinations in the dark after power suddenly went off at the institution amid the unrelenting countrywide power crisis.
The power crisis has forced power utility, Zesa Holdings to introduce 18 to 22-hour load-shedding schedule which has affected homes, industries and institutions, including Zesa’s facilities.
This week, UZ students had to write their examinations in the dark in Great Hall.
UZ acting registrar Munyaradzi Madambe yesterday confirmed the issue to NewsDay.
He, however, pointed out that the university often experiences power outages.
“We had a series of power outages on December 6, 2022. It's unfortunate that someone decided to be mischievous by taking that picture during the 30 seconds transition from Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) electricity to generator power. All our venues have backup power. It is also important to note that we have a dedicated Zesa power grid, so we hardly have power cuts, unless there is a fault, of which Zesa would always expeditiously attend to.”
Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) secretary-general Joseph Nyamayaro told NewsDay that during those minutes without power while the examination was on-going, students were adversely affected.
He said there was darkness for about 15 minutes during the examination.
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“The UZ is taking students for granted. However, it is the State that is actually disrespecting students because it is a shame that its higher education institutions have increased fees, but cannot provide simple things like generators for students during examinations,” Nyamayaro said.
“To say the blackout during the examination happened for a few seconds in mere propaganda. One cannot take a picture of a blackout in seconds. Even if electricity was later restored, they cannot restore the damage that students experienced. During an examination, the mind and body should be in sync. This rot in electricity and water service delivery has severely affected students,” he said.
Norton Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa attributed the electricity crisis to corruption and lack of political will to fight graft.
“This current power shortage problem is the latest manifestation of the effects of corruption as we have said all along. With robust measures and political will to fight corruption, the Kariba issues should not have plunged us into this crisis,” Mliswa tweeted.
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