ZINASU splits into two factions over constitution

zinasu__demoZINASU splits into two factions over constitution
Zimbabwes National Students Union (ZINASU) has split into two factions, allegedly over differences on whether to support the government sponsored constitution making process or not.

An extraordinary congress convened on Saturday said it had re-called President Clever Bere, over what was alleged to be his dictatorial tendencies. His Vice President, Brilliant Dube, was immediately elevated to the post of interim President in place of Bere. On Monday both Bere and Dube went head to head on our Rules for our Rulers programme, with both insisting they were the legitimate leaders of the union.

Press reports claim Dubes faction is backed by the Tsvangirai MDC who want the student body to support the constitution making process. Beres faction is said to be backed by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the National Constitutional Assembly, who are boycotting the process. Bere however blamed all the problems on former board chair and human rights activist Arnold Tsunga whom he said ZINASU decided to replace with Takura Zhangaza. He said Tsunga was now based in Switzerland and could not contribute effectively. Additionally he said Tsunga had been chair since 2003 and the union needed new blood with new ideas.

Dube however told the programme Bere had been voted out by the students, unhappy he was making unilateral decisions on several issues. Despite earlier denying the infighting was linked to the constitution making process she later conceded ZINASU under her leadership would participate in the process sponsored by government. Bere reminded Dube that both had met Prime Minister Tsvangirai with their proposals for the constitutional process and her claims they would support the process anyhow represented a u-turn.

Meanwhile Bere was unhappy at the skirmishes that took place at the venue of the extra-ordinary congress. He said Archford Mudzengi, the President of the Zimbabwe School of Mines, was seriously assaulted by hired thugs in the presence of Tsunga, who allegedly did nothing. He said the meeting barred several student leaders aligned to him and was therefore a non-event. He argued only the union president could call for such meetings, as stated in their constitution. Dube countered by saying in extra-ordinary circumstances the constitution empowered them to call for such a meeting.

SWRadio Africa

Post published in: Politics

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