MIDLANDS State University (MSU) students who were contesting in the Students Representative Council (SRC) elections have engaged the services of lawyers to force the institution to release the results after authorities postponed the polls on the first day of voting.
The university’s administration said the polls, which were conducted electronically, had to be stopped after claiming its server had been hacked.
The elections were scheduled for November 9 and 15, but on the first day of voting (November 9), MSU registrar, Erasmus Mupfiga announced on the institution’s website that the elections had been postponed as result of a “security breach”.
“The postponement has been as a result of a serious and massive security breach that has been detected by our information and technology department,” part of the notice read.
There are allegations that the university authorities stopped the polls after realising that their favoured candidate for the SRC presidency, Elsie Moyo of the Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Union, was set to lose to her Zimbabwe National Students Union rival, Jacob Lawrence Sedze.
Sedze and other candidates, including Blessmore Jaravaza, Leon Kanhenga and Sylvester Manomano, who were vying for different posts have, through their lawyer — Nomore Hlabano of Hlabano Law Chambers — demanded that MSU announce the results.
“Our clients advise us that elections were duly held yesterday, 9th November 2018,” reads part of the letter by the lawyers dated November 10 and addressed to the chief electoral officer, who is the dean of students, and the electoral college, respectively.
“Our clients were candidates duly nominated and competing for posts of president and vice-presidents, respectively. However, until now, after the expiry of one day as provided for in Article 33 section 1 (i) of the Midlands State University Student Representative Council constitution, we are advised that the electoral college has not announced the results as required by Article 38 of the same constitution.
“We have instructions and demand, as we hereby do, that the electoral college announce the results forthwith. Should the electoral college fail, neglect or refuse to so announce, we have instructions to approach the courts to compel the electoral college to do so. Our clients do not wish to engage in unnecessary litigation and have faith that the electoral college will act in terms of the constitution.”
MSU spokesperson Mirirai Mawere had not responded to questions sent to her yesterday.