via MDC-T denies interfering in student politics | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo October 29, 2013
The MDC-T has denied interfering in student politics following weekend reports that some political parties are behind the divisions and struggles currently rocking the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU).
On Saturday, online news source NewZimbabwe.com reported that the MDC-T and Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA party were sponsoring disunity within ZINASU, which had seen a new group claiming to now be in charge.
The group, led by University of Zimbabwe law student Agency Gumbo, dismissed the current ZINASU leadership as ‘impostors’ and illegitimate.
But current ZINASU president Pride Mukono said the disunity and the emergence of Gumbo’s faction was the work of “paranoid hawks within the MDC-T who want to keep the student movement under their armpits”.
Mukono accused MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa of propping up Gumbo, a classmate of his at the UZ and a prominent member of the MDC student council.
“This is exactly the manifestation of what we were saying. We were aware of what the MDC-T has been planning to do and they have actually pre-empted their strategy,” said Mukono, whose faction is seen as sympathetic to the NCA.
Speaking on Tuesday, ZINASU secretary-general Tryvine Musokeri accused “certain drop-outs who are determined to remain at the helm of the student movement of fanning the current divisions.”
Musokeri did not name these drop-outs. However he said ZINASU is going to congress on November 15th, “and as well as choosing a new leadership, this will be a chance for students to demand to have their union back to tackle issues relating to student welfare and not political party interests.
“As students we need loans and grants, and we need water and these are the issues we should be focusing on and devising ways of engaging the relevant ministries on these issues,” he added.
Following these press reports, the MDC-T youth wing on Tuesday distanced itself from the power squabbles in ZINASU and called on the body to be non-partisan.
In a statement signed by youth assembly leader Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T said it believes in the independence of student bodies across the country.
“We are very much aware that ZINASU like any other civic organization is political but it must not be partisan. We strongly believe that ZINASU’s impending congress should be left to run beyond the politics of political parties.
“It is unfortunate that current developments in ZINASU as it prepares for its congress, has been characterized by internal power struggles that has led to certain sections of ZINASU employing adverse political strategies to outwit their competitors. To this end, claims have been made that the MDC is interfering in the affairs of the students union.
“The Youth Assembly will not fan divisions in the institution but would rather wish ZINASU a fruitful Congress since they are an institution that provides oversight to the national development processes with bias to the students’ community,” Madzore added.