By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – Following the intelligence he received of the disruptions to ongoing exams at the National University of Lesotho’s (NUL), the Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Fajana takes a decisive action to counter the threats.

This he communicates to NUL students on Monday morning through a WhatsApp clip audio that is making rounds on social media.

VC’s decisive action in response to the threat of exam disruption sends a message to the alleged perpetrators that such behavior will not be tolerated.

In the clip, Prof Fajana says he finds it “extremely necessary to address the university community this morning [Monday]. Intelligence reports have revealed that a yet to be unidentified group of students have plans to unprocedurally disrupt the ongoing end of semester examinations in spite of objections by a large group of students.

“I wish to indicate that these are rumours and as such the examinations need to continue in the interest of orderly development of the university and the nation. Therefore you are advised to go on your lawful duties as staff and students.”

He goes on further to explain that as management they have adopted security measures to avoid acts of violence in the campus during this time of the exams between those who support this proposed “disruptions” and those who are against them.

The NUL’s Director of Communications and Marketing ‘Mamosa Moteetee confirms the authenticity of the clip and confirmed that it is the VC’s voice that can be heard on it.

Moteetee says the disruptive group reportedly planning to interfere with the exams is not affiliated with the Student Representative Council (SRC).

She saiys usually the SRC informs the management of any planned actions, but in this case, there was no such communication.

To ensure the smooth running of exams, the Director of Communications and Marketing says the university has increased security measures, and there is a Special Operations Unit (SOU) police presence on campus.

She says the library has also been closed and can be accessed online. It is also opened to only students who have morning and afternoon exams to sit for that particular day according to the VC.

Prof Fajana adds: “The measures taken may inconvenience the community members but they are necessary under the current situation.”

While there are no official sources to confirm these claims, it is alleged the motivation behind the attempted disruption of exams was due to students’ demands for what they perceive as ‘outstanding’ allowances from the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).

Meanwhile, the NMDS Deputy Director Thabo Ntoi states the allowances are provided only until the end of the academic year, which concludes in May.

Recently the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology students  protested for similar reasons, asserting that the academic year had been extended to June. The NMDS also told this university management that they only sponsor the students within the agreed timeframe that is until the end of May when academic year concludes and this prompted the institution to adjust its calendar accordingly.

Efforts to reach the SRC for comment were unsuccessful. The President’s phone went unanswered, and the Minister of Finance Eric Adoro could no longer be reached, although he assured that he would be available for a call later in the day, as he was earlier in a meeting and could not talk.