Students protest as results withheld

BULAWAYO - Authorities continue to deprive students in tertiary institutions of their right to education amid revelations that the withholding of results for reasons of non-payment has spread from Matabeleland to Mashonaland Central Province.
Promise Mkwananzi, the president of the Zimbabwe Nati

onal Students Union (ZINASU), says the withholding of students’ results has now affected Bindura University. This is less than two weeks after students at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo raised the same complaint for reasons attributed to failure by academics to pay the fees in full.
A student at Bindura University, who requested anonymity, told The Zimbabwean by phone from Chipadze high-density suburb in the town that authorities at the institution were demanding that students clear their outstanding arrears before results could be released.
He said the union had written to higher education minister Stan Mudenge compelling his ministry to be firm in making sure that no student would be expelled from school for non-payment of fees. Despite Mudenge’s directive authorities have continued to withhold the results. The government hiked fees by over 1000 percent rendering several learners incapable of raising the new fees that exceed student grants offered by President Robert Mugabe’s government. This meant that students had to fork out millions of dollars from their pockets to augment the government payouts.
However, several students, their parents and guardians ay they cannot afford the new fee structures owing to the harsh economic climate prevailing in the country.
Meanwhile, the University of Zimbabwe’s Students Representative Council president Tinei Mukwewa has been re-summoned by police in Bindura over the Bindura University’s computer lab that went up in smoke recently when students were protesting against these fee increases. Mkwananzi said the police action was meant to thwart forthcoming protests being organized the students’ umbrella body. – Own correspondent

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