Masvingo student convicted after demanding refund for cancelled course

A student activist at Masvingo Polytechnic College has been ordered to pay $150 after a magistrate convicted him on assault charges, in a case that has shocked the student community.

Prosper Tiringindi was arrested back in February along with four other students who had demanded their money back for a course that was cancelled by the College. The students were initially charged with public violence which was later changed to assault and have always insisted they were innocent.

But according to Darlington Madzonga from the Students Solidarity Trust (SST), Tiringindi never made it on to the campus grounds on the day in question and three witnesses testified they were with him.

“His defense is that he went with the others but was stopped by security guards at the gate,” Madzonga told SW Radio Africa. He explained that Tiringindi was targetted by the Principal at Masvingo Polytech because he speaks out for students and is a popular leader.

Madzonga said that the other four students, Brighton Ramusi, Zivanai Muzorodzi, Godfrey Kurauone and Brian Chimwayi were acquitted last week after the court ruled there was no evidence linking them to any violence.

On Thursday a Masvingo magistrate ordered Tiringindi to pay a fine of $150.00 before the 31st April. He was also “warned not to commit another offence” otherwise he would be sent to prison.

The school had advertised a course in Tourism and Hospitality which was later cancelled and students who had already paid were not refunded. The five students approached the Dean demanding that all students who paid be refunded, but they were arrested and charged with assault.

Madzonga said the activist will pay the fine but his lawyers will appeal the decision by the magistrate. The students who paid for the Hospitality course have still not been refunded and the school says the course starts “sometime next semester”.SW Radio Africa

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