ZIMBABWE – Highlanders football star Gabriel Nyoni’s close links with Zanu PF has cost him his bid to be elected National University of Science Technology student leader.
Nyoni, a marketing student at the tertiary institution, was vying for the Student Representative Committee presidency and had put up a spirited campaign to land the post.
He, however, bowed out of contention last week after being found to have violated rules of a contest due for this coming Thursday.
These included accusations he threw a campaign well before candidates were allowed to start soliciting for votes.
Nyoni let out his frustrations in an emotional Facebook post where he blamed his misfortune on opposition parties.
It is very painful to all the students who were behind me and joy to my enemies that I have been disqualified because of a student who tampered with my nomination paper and because of the petition wrote by the opposition parties, he said.
Nyoni is adamant his disqualification was an elaborate strategy by MDC aligned students to elbow him out of the competition he was confident on winning.
One of my councillors was paid by the opposition parties to sign a different name and student ID on my nomination paper, he later told NewZimbabwe.com.
The affable striker denied his campaign was bankrolled by a top Zanu PF politician in the city, adding he had no barricades placed in front of any potential sponsor to his pledge.
Nyoni is an avowed admirer of President Robert Mugabe whose popularity is in the wane due to his role in the country’s deepening economic fortunes.
The Bosso star admits this could have contributed to his ousting as a prospective student political leader but remains adamant President Mugabe is his inspiration.
I cannot go against the source of power. He is my President, he is your President; he is everyone’s President. How can I say my President is bad he said.
There is massive polarisation within student politics which usually follows the pattern of mainstream political parties.
The posts are so powerful that political parties have often been found sponsoring certain candidates while also trying to influence the outcome of student representative council polls.
Tertiary students, apart from being a massive voting base in national elections, also form a powerful voice on national affairs.