Wednesday 24 April 2024


THE Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) yesterday threatened to shut down universities and colleges in seven days if the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry turns down its request for dialogue over basket of challenges.

The union has been protesting over what it terms “out of reach” tuition fees, and have requested an audience with the ministry to prevent further drop-outs.

Addressing the students on Monday at ministry offices, Zinasu president Emmanuel Sitima said students were frustrated by the refusal of authorities to dialogue.

“If they fail to respond within that time frame, Zinasu will have no other choice but to shut down institutions of higher learning,” said Sitima.

“We also held a multi-stakeholder meeting on February 27, which was attended by all stakeholders including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, but the ministry decided not to come.”

Sitima said students wanted to be heard and their input considered in shaping policies that affect them directly.

“We have several requests that we have towards the minister for a meeting to be able to give him our views as a student union because we believe that he (minister Amon Murwira) does not have a monopoly of ideas and solutions to the problems we are facing as students,” he said.

“We are sons and daughters of peasants and civil servants who are anywhere below the poverty line.”

A survey by the union showed that a number of students were forced to defer studies, drop out, engage in crime and prostitution and other illegal activities to fund their continued stay at the institutions of higher learning.

In March, Murwira angered students when he told them that there was no free education and learners should engage in work-for-fees programmes.

According to Section 75 of the Constitution, it is the government’s obligation to ensure education is free and accessible to all learners of school-going age. Newsday


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