University of Zimbabwe authorities have defied a Harare high court order to readmit to campus housing thousands of students it evicted on 30 minutes notice last week.
University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Levy Nyagura issued a statement in the Sunday Mail, a state-run newspaper, saying the displaced students would face automatic expulsion if they were found anywhere near campus residences.
The high court issued an order late last week for the students to be allowed back into university residences, and authorities initially agreed to let female students back in, saying residences for men were uninhabitable following student protests.
But it subsequently reneged on its commitment and Nyagura reportedly told students that they should put up at the high court if they had nowhere else to go.
About 5,000 students were evicted July 5 following demonstrations against a fee hike of Z$1 million levied to meet additional expenses due to a lecturer's strike.
Attorney Rangu Nyamurundira of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, counsel for the evicted students, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that that he has asked the court to find Nyagura in contempt.