SOME students at the Midlands State University (MSU) have been locked out of the Gweru campus for paying registration and accommodation fees late due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Students, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the registration deadline should have been extended instead of them having to lose the whole semester because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We failed to pay fees before registration deadline due to the lockdown and we don’t see why the university should not allow late payment. They have denied us registration or even to enter university premises to air our grievances since Sunday afternoon” complained one student.
The students, who braved the cold weather, said the authorities were “inhuman and insensitive to their plight”.
“We are not allowed to get inside. The authorities are saying registration is closed but we paid our fees. If we can get penalties but be allowed to register in 48 hours, it would be better,” another student who also declined to be named said.
The student added: “We have been denied audience with management. We have asked officials to come and address our concerns but no one is coming. We are over 100 students affected by this situation.
“The scariest thing is, we are waiting next to a quarantine centre for COVID-19 and there were eight cases reported at the centre. They are not even bothering to come and talk with us.”
MSU deputy registrar academic affairs Alice Manokore refused to comment, saying she was not allowed to speak to the press.
Higher and Tertiary Education minister Prof Amon Murwira promised to urgently deal with the issue.
Mirirai Mawere, the MSU spokesperson said they had advised the students through their website.
“We have posted a notice on our website to our students. It is not for public consumption,” said Mawere.
The university closed in April when President Emmerson Mnangagwa put the country under lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19.