An Open Letter to Mme 'Manthoto Lephoto; Vice Chancellor National University of Lesotho

Subject: An Open Letter to Mme 'Manthoto Lephoto; Vice Chancellor National University of Lesotho
From: Students leaving in dire pain and suffering under your leadership
Date: 22 Sep 2019

Dear Vice Chancellor

Allow me to share a few stories that materialised just at the beginning of the academic to show how worrisome and ineffecient your leadership has been. It has been a norm for arrays of students at NUL who seek accommodation in campus to struggle with such and this gives a leeway to students having to bribe wardens to secure themselves rooms in the halls of residence. However this year, in your leadership acting Vice Chancellor the problem became as rife as ever.

There is a list of a particular residence that was not published at all and without clear and sound reasons as to why that list was not published. One then realised that this would allow the wardens to make a few cash out of bribery to give those rooms to students who are desperate and are atleast privileged to do the bribe. It was a very unfortunate instance for those who did not have the required bribe to secure themselves rooms; the only alternative for them was to do house hunting because the lack of due process in your leadership never favoured them. This happened under your presence and you never addressed the situation.

As if matters weren't bad enough, many students are likely to leave the university for a year or 2 years because of the unsolicited rustications from your Registrar, this happened under your watch and you still failed lamentably to address this non-chalant maladminstration. You allowed the unscrupulous conduct of your Registrar madam VC to charge students of the laws that we don't even know they exist within campus yet you purport the rule of law prevails in campus. What rule of law is there when a student is charged of a law that was never made accessible to students within campus. And public law is to the effect that all laws must be accessible to all members of the public, as such this would curb 'ignorance of the law is no excuse '

Madam VC, students went for departmental hearings where they even incriminated themselves to having done exam malpractice because of the duress that happens under your leadership. The departmental resolution was to the effect that students should repeat those particular courses for which the department's say they purportedly cheated. Too bad, this never happened, you allowed your Registrar madam VC to unlawfully enhance the punishment of these vulnerable students to 1 year and 2 years rustication. The rule of law does not allow enhancements of punishment without giving a person fair hearing, we tell you madam VC that students were not given hearing yet you condone this unlawful rustications and the Registrar acting beyond the limits of her powers. This abuse of power by those who have power happened under your watch and you just kept quiet. Such grave injustice under your leadership madam vice chancellor yet you just sit back and watch

Two students (oh God bless them) tried rescuing the situation by noting Appeals with the university Council on the 19th August 2019 because clearly your Registrar acted in a manner that utterly goes against the dictates of the law and assumed powers not vested in her by laws promulgated and enacted by our fore-father's in the spirit of JUSTICE. Madam Acting VC it is in your leadership that these cases to date have not been heard because the university seems not have the Council disciplinary committe; a body tantamount to the Senate disciplinary committee and that you conveniently mentioned that you do not want the cases to go before council because it will give the university a bad publicity. What about the rights of students? What about their future madam Vice Chancellor? CRY MY BELOVED COUNTRY! May I mention madam Vice Chancellor that this delay and reluctance in having those cases heard is a grave injustice of the constitutional and democratic rights of students; Justice delayed is justice denied.

In your leadership madam VC, students have not been given allowances and are dying of hunger, students are removed by landlords because of the university's breach of social contracts that we see under your leadership madam VC. When students wish to give in a peaceful demonstration against this crisis, they are told to leave campus yet constitutionally and democratically one is entitled to protest peacefully. This shows how tyrannical your leadership is. Student's voices cannot be heard and under your leadership, students are silenced and when their Representative Council tried to intervene and break the silence, your leadership also suspends them from the university. Then the compelling question is who will fight for the rights of students at NUL?

Last but not least, we saw in your leadership where the circular did not direct students to vacate the university yet your leadership calls the Lesotho mounted Police heavily armed to forcefully vacate students residing in campus. It was a bad spectacle where students were beaten with buttons, beaten with guns , exposure to teargas and ships. It would be a bad spectacle for any parent with love to their children to see students throwing themselves out of Windows from second floors murtala residence because they could not stand the teargas thrown in their rooms by the police men. This we saw in your leadership madam VC and fears lays it's icy hand on our hearts and our hands trample in agony because the only crime these students committed was for their voices to be heard. If such inhumane treatment is inflicted upon students in your leadership madam VC, do we call Lesotho a constitutional democracy? What about our constitution? What about international conventions that Lesotho has signed to safe guard people's human rights?

Madam VC, our hearts are very heavy and bleed in sorrow to see so much injustice reigning in your leadership. So much pain we are labouring under to see this fashion of human rights violation in your leadership madam VC. It's high that our only university introspects, correct it's misdemeanors and treat it's only students with a more loving and caring conduct.

This letters entails many unheard voices of your students madam VC, it is what all students wish to tell and all we ask is please hear our cries and sorrow.

From students leaving in an antagonizing pain and suffering under your leadership.