Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
LUPANE State University (LSU) is now transporting students from Lupane to Bulawayo and back daily following the court ruling ordering the institution’s management to reverse a decision to relocate students and lecturers in the Department of Development Studies.
The university complied with the ruling after lecturers approached the Bulawayo High Court challenging the institution’s decision ordering them to relocate to the university’s campus in Lupane without providing adequate accommodation.
However, when the High Court ruling was made, the institution had already moved its students to Lupane, a development that has forced the university to hire a private bus to transport the students to Bulawayo for lectures and back daily.
Some of the affected students told Chronicle that they were not comfortable with the arrangement, which they said was risky and tiring.
“It takes more than two hours to travel from Lupane to Bulawayo and it’s not healthy to travel on a daily basis for lectures. It poses a risk to our lives and by the time we arrive in Bulawayo we would be exhausted.
“We have to wake up as early as 4AM to be ready for the journey so that we’re in Bulawayo by 8AM. This is not fair. The university must come up with a better arrangement,” said one of the students.
A parent, Mr Levison Sibanda whose child is one of the affected students said it was uneconomic for the university to come up with such an arrangement.
“This is an expensive arrangement given the amount spent on hiring the bus,” said Mr Sibanda.
LSU’s director of marketing and communication Mr Zwelithini Dlamini yesterday acknowledged that it was an expensive arrangement but they had no choice under the circumstances.
He said it was the university’s hope that by July they would have completed the relocation exercise.
“It’s not economic but we have no choice under the circumstances. We have to comply with the High Court ruling and at the same time we have to make sure that students attend their lectures.
“We’re hoping that by July we would have attended to the concerns raised by the lecturers and students,” said Mr Dlamini.
He said the university was engaging students who have accommodation in Bulawayo to move to the city so that only those without accommodation in the city remain.