THE last batch of the 150 students from the Bulawayo Polytechnic School of Tourism and Hospitality being dispatched to Harare as part of the catering team at the wedding of President Robert Mugabe’s daughter Bona on Saturday was set to leave early this morning at around 4am.
According to a source at the school, the students were supposed to leave yesterday morning, but the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) buses that were meant to transport them to the capital did not arrive resulting in the rescheduling of the journey.
The first batch left for Harare at 4am yesterday. The students were told last week on Friday that they would be part of the catering team at the grand wedding and lessons were suspended at the school yesterday as the students prepared to leave for the capital.
A Southern Eye news crew visited the Bulawayo Polytechnic yesterday and saw some of the students with their luggage waiting for the
CMED buses to transport them to Harare.
Some students who spoke to Southern Eye revealed that they would be accommodated at the Harare Polytechnic and at KG VI military base close to State House.
“We were told that we would be travelling to Harare for the wedding last Friday,” a student said.
“We understand two buses have been hired to ferry us to Harare.
“We would be split into two groups, one accommodated at Harare Polytechnic and the other at a military base outside State House,” the student said.
Another student said they would be split to do different catering roles at the wedding.
“We will be separated into groups and some will be deployed to cooking, others ushering, waitering and manning the bar. We will undergo training on for the wedding. On Friday, there will be a mock dinner ceremony to ensure that everyone appreciates their role,” the student said.
“We understand that the institution did not demand any form of payment, but we hear that State House might give us a token of appreciation as a way of thanking us.”
The student said this was not the first time the school had provided services for high-profile functions.
“It becomes automatic with State functions or when these senior government officials hold functions of this nature that we are sent to provide services,” he said.
Lessons have been cancelled until the return of the 150 from the wedding.
“We won’t be learning until our colleagues return so we will be just sitting,” said a student who is not travelling for the wedding.
“It is unfortunate because we are losing learning time.”
Bulawayo Polytechnic principal Gilbert Mabasa referred questions to the wedding organisers when Southern Eye contacted him for comment yesterday.
“Ask the organisers from the President’s Office. I am not competent to talk about that,” Mabasa said.