HARARE – Tertiary students — represented by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) — have vowed to confront President Robert Mugabe over their deplorable welfare at the Zanu PF interface rally to be held in the capital next week.
If denied to speak at the event, Zinasu said they will petition the 93-year-old leader, and even wave placards.
Mugabe, who has been holding youth interface rallies in nine of the country’s 10 provinces, is set to meet the students at the Harare International Conference Centre next Saturday.
In the build up to the interface rally with the students, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, recently met representatives of tertiary institutions to map the way forward concerning the issues to be addressed during the rally.
However, Zinasu secretary-general, Makomborero Haruzivishe, yesterday argued that the meeting did not capture the real issues that they want addressed.
“As students we are really concerned about the…meeting. There are issues that we thought would be addressed but were not. As Zinasu, all our Students Representative Committee (SRC) presidents are going to be equipped with a petition, if we are denied permission to make a presentation,” he said.
“As intellectuals, we believe this is going to be an interface rally but if that is not going to happen, we are going to hold placards on issues that are affecting students. We are going to make it clear to the chancellor that we are not for political abuse. We want critical issues to be addressed to do with the economy and students’ welfare,” Haruzivishe said.
Zinasu has 152 000 subscribing members drawn from colleges, universities and vocational centres, and it was formed to promote democratic practices by students in order for their issues and concerns to be heard.
After having met the youths in nine provinces, Mugabe’s wife went on to engage members of indigenous apostolic churches, on the back of another plan to meet the party’s women’s league in the near future.
Haruzivishe argued that their forthcoming meeting with the president must be in a position to address the problems students are facing due to the economic problems bedevilling the country.
“As Zinasu, we have issues that we need to be addressed, like corruption, fees challenges. Many students are not getting money for school fees. As we speak, the SRC president of Solusi University and five others were suspended for demonstrating against school fees, while at Midlands State University, at least 350 students were not allowed to write exams because they had not paid school fees,” he said.