The Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) has threatened to unleash mass protests at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) for barring students from sitting for their exams over tuition fee arrears.
Zinasu secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe, called on the UZ and GZU to take heed and listen to students’ voices, arguing it was unconstitutional under section 75 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to education, to bar students from sitting for their exams.
“We demand they allow students to sit for exams,” Haruzivishe said.
“Failure will result in determined protests against apartheid in the tertiary education sector.
“The combined 4 170 unregistered students who are economic victims at UZ (2 800 students) and GZU (1 370 students) should be allowed to sit for their exams as they are Zimbabweans too.”
Haruzivishe commended Midlands State University (MSU) for allowing students to sit for their exams despite huge tuition fees arrears.
The MSU had earlier last week put up notices barring students who have not paid up fees from sitting for examinations.
At least 1 800 students had not paid up fees due to the biting liquidity crunch, according to Zinasu. Some of the students had arrears amounting to $2 000.
“Zinasu appreciates most the positive engaging character exhibited by the dean of students, … (Isheanesu) Chaka and the registrar when student leaders and representatives approached them seeking audience over the MSU students’ right to education as enshrined by section 75 of the Zimbabwean Constitution.
“This is a positive development fully embraced by Zinasu as students are now able to sit for their exams in fulfilment of their right to access education.
“Zinasu, however, remains concerned with outstanding issues to do with academic freedoms, freedom of expression, accommodation, students’ livelihoods and welfare at MSU.”
Haruzivishe said Zinasu will continue to fight for an inclusive and democratic Zimbabwe where students are integral stakeholders, who have their concerns addressed and academic freedoms upheld and promoted.