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ZINASU Demands Mthuli Meeting as Students Defer Studies

"Students have been forced to defer their studies due to financial constraints, moreover, most of them are born of civil servants who can barely afford a quarter of the charged fee" - ZINASU

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The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), a student organisation that advocates for the rights and welfare of students, has written to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube demanding that he acts on fee increments by higher learning institutions.

In a letter dated 21 April 2023, and signed by ZINASU president Boris Muguti, students described the fee increments by universities and colleges as “unruly and anarchic”. Wrote ZINASU:

We note with high concern, consistent statements from the government over its incapacitation to fund fundamental social services.

The failure of the government to prioritize funding for education has led to unruly and anarchic fees increment being enforced by institutions of learning.

This has been a catastrophic blow to society which continues to bleed from financial mismanagement.

Students have been forced to defer their studies due to financial constraints, moreover, most of them are born of civil servants who can barely afford a quarter of the charged fee.

This is a clear indication that the nation has suffered an ideological blow as only a minority and privileged class can access fundamental rights that our forefathers fought for.

ZINASU also bemoaned endemic and systemic corruption that has negatively impacted the Government’s ability to provide social service to citizens. Reads the letter:

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We are alarmed by the manner in which corruption has systematically embedded in the system and culture of governance yet a lot remains unresolved.

The level of impunity by corrupt government actors and officials is shocking.

We submitted some reports of corruption to offices within the government and we continue to seek ways to combat corruption as this affects service delivery and puts a death nail in our economy.

The recent findings from the Al Jazeera screened documentary illuminated the already known magnitude of corruption in the country and it is our utmost desire to put an end to the smuggling of national resources.

We believe that if resources are channelled to the national interests the economy will be revived and free education can be a possibility in our lifetime.

ZINASU requested Ncube to respond to five questions about the conditions of student teachers, corruption exposed by the Al Jazeera documentary Gold Mafia, and the “catch and release” syndrome. Here are the questions:

Why students and teachers are poor when their country is rich like what was exposed in the Gold Mafia Documentary?

Why does the government fail to provide free and quality education when we are making millions of dollars from Gold, platinum, diamonds, lithium among other minerals?

Why is it difficult for the government to offer students grants when it is harnessing millions of dollars from gold exports?

Why is the government through your Ministry wasting tax payer’s money funding the operations of ZACC, $23mil USD/year when it is clear that it is completely dysfunctional and incompetent apart from “catching and releasing?”

Is your Ministry in keeping with the liberation ethos of power to the people? or it’s now happiness to a few global mafia kings?

Do you sleep well making an average $10million USD/month whilst civil servants struggle with $225 USD/month?

ZINASU has demanded a face-to-face meeting with Ncube as soon as possible and warned that they will stage protests in Cowdray Park in Bulawayo where Ncube is the ZANU PF candidate for the upcoming elections if he fails to give them audience.


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