#CurrentSituation: Students ‘Shutdown’ Nust in protest over strike

Developing Story | 2 minute read

Students barricaded the National University of Science and Technology on Monday morning in protest against the institution’s inability to resolve issues with lecturers who have been on strike for three weeks .

According to the Nust Student Representative Council (SRC), the protest dubbed #NustShutDown, was staged to compel the institution to resolve the deadlock with lecturers,  a situation that has resulted in the disruption of learning.

“Students have not been learning for about four weeks now and we have come to a situation where we have to do just about anything to get the attention of stakeholders at Nust,” said SRC President Pablo Chimusoro.

By  8 a.m, all entrance and exit points had been blocked and nobody was allowed on campus.

Administration staff were stranded at City Hall as their daily bus could not exit to shuttle them to work. Others were stranded in their vehicles along the Cecil Avenue entrance.

The shutdown is happening days after government announced the appointment of Prof Mqhele Dlodlo as substantive Vice Chancellor of the university.

Here is a timeline of key developments

  • 26 Feb 2018: Students shutdown Nust 

Students barricade university – all entrance/exit points blocked -as they mount pressure on institution to solve lecturers’ strike

  • 21 Feb 2018: Govt appoints Prof Mqhele Dlodlo as  substantive Vice Chancellor:

The lack of a proactive and substantive Vice-Chancellor was believed to be a contributing factor in the gross  mismanagement of funds by the institution’s executive, hence the appointment 

  • 16 Feb 2018: Students join strike

Students marched to the university’s administration offices protesting over the impasse.

  • 13 Feb 2018: Nust takes lecturers to the Labour Court

The university responded to the strike by contesting the legality of the industrial action.

  • 7 Feb 2018: Nust lecturers strike for the second time in the same academic year.

Nust lecturers downed tools, alleging mismanagement at the institution- splashing money on luxurious vehicles at the expense of students’ learning materials and equipment –  which they said was crippling the university’s operations. 

  • 29 Jan 2018: 2nd Semester of academic year commences.

Second semester commenced amidst high expectations given the new political dispensation in the country

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UZ releases Grace Mugabe’s PhD thesis, four years later

Opine: Why female candidates are perennially absent in elections.

Thulisile Mthethwa | Nust -ZW

How far have we gone with emancipation of women and girls today?

Too often we hear people saying that we are now civilised, we recognise and acknowledge the rights of women and children as a way to counter patriarchy and its bounding chains of inequality.

A university is at the centre of all this as it imparts basic principles of survival to young adults to cope in this socio-political and economically defined community.

Granted it is so and women are being given the voice to articulate their challenges and aspirations, why then have we not seen a female candidate successfully running for presidency at the National University of Science and Technology and bagging the top post of the students union body?

Does the answer lie between the socialisation of females or it is in the mind of a people?

Masculinity is constructed as binary opposed to femininity as early as childhood.

Women are often deemed to be in need of male guidance such as looking up to the man in their life,  be it a partner, parent or sibling, who is ‘a positive role model to all’.

That could be one way of understanding this problem although  the possibilities are just endless.

The day a woman could take up the NUST presidency would be the beginning of a journey of emotional and psychological liberation for those cramped in the dystopia of ‘Macho-manism’.

The day a woman would lead the NUST Students Representative Council would certainly be the day the notion that, ‘men make better political leaders than women,’ would be challenged.

‘…if you are too tough you are not feminine, if you are too feminine then you are not tough enough…

The political landscape at NUST shows that personal gender role threats are much more pronounced than they have been in the past. The double bind for female candidates is that women who contend for power are less likely than men to be seen as likeable.

Disharmony among women has not helped the situation either.

The most critical barriers that have hindered females from contending for the presidency at our prestigious university is that men are often judged by their potential, yet young women are judged by their accomplishments.

2017-2018 Academic year Students' Union presidential hopefuls.
 From Left to Right: Vusa Ngwenya, Natasha Aliki, Pablo Chimusoro.

Women have to spend more time proving themselves and can be easily written off as too feminine to withstand the political pressures that come with the demanding nature of leadership.

The idea that, ‘if you are too tough you are not feminine, if you are too feminine then you are not tough enough’ comes into play.

To win an election in this system, women must contend with sexism and stereotypes. The more a leadership position is perceived by the public as powerful, the harder it is for women to secure it.

ASHLEY MORGEN CROWNED MISS TOURISM 2016

​NUST MARKETING student and Bulawayo contestant Ashley Morgen has been crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016.

Morgen got her crown at a glamorous event held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre on Friday.

Nonhlanhla Dube also named Miss Agro Tourism and Shirley-Ann Lindsey, Miss City Tourism were the  princesses.

Morgen walked away with a $20,000, a car and other prizes. Dube scooped $10,000 while Lindsay got $5,000.

The glamorous event set the standard for pageants for Zimbabwe for both presentation and prizes handed out. Some calls  have been made for the organisers under the leadership of Barbara Mzembi to take over the Miss Zimbabwe stewardship but we are pretty keen to see where next she will take what was a very successful campaign. 

Source:3mob.
 

#MeetTheStudents(Video): Tinashe Sibanda-African Leadership University

Meet the host of the African Leadership University’s first student-run talk show, “The Hot Seat with Tinashe.”- Tinashe Sibanda. For Tinashe, every new challenge is an opportunity. He is currently interning with Omidyar Network in Silicon Valley.

Harvard students are taking legal action to support the university on affirmative action — USA TODAY College

In this Aug. 30, 2012, file photo, people are led on a tour on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) In another installment of Harvard University’s legal battle over affirmative action policies, several current and previous students have joined the fray in support of the university. The Harvard Crimson reports the students…

via Harvard students are taking legal action to support the university on affirmative action — USA TODAY College

Diary of a Zimbo studying Abroad: “Hong Kong culture more classist than racist”

by Getrude Gwenzi | @JusG_G  (tw)| Lingnan University-Hong Kong

I have been living in Hong Kong for a month now. I have been observing this society with interest and making my own observations so that I do not succumb to generalizations and assumptions of how Chinese people are or ought to be.

I want to tackle the subject  of racism which was really sparked by the following video:

To summarise; this black woman got onto the MTR (train service) and the moment she sat down the Chinese woman sitting next to her took out a tissue and covered her mouth. I MEAN!!!I would be outraged. I have been on the MTR myself in the past month and I must say I have observed some weird behaviors by some Chinese people(not all); such as:

  • choosing to leave their seat and stand up when you sit next to them
  • being stared at like you have done something wrong just by entering the train
  • refusing to even touch you or your elbow even when the train is clearly full and it cannot be avoided

But someone covering their mouth after you sit next to them???I don’t think I would have this woman’s courage to stand up and speak against such behavior. So this post also applauds her confidence and pride in herself as a black person in Hong Kong. It sparked a lot of debate around racism and basic ignorance of some Chinese people which explains their behavior towards minorities.

“…if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all?…”

I decided to read further about how black people are generally perceived in Hong Kong. The truth is we (black people) are a minority and although Hong Kong is described as a diverse, first world city; there are not many black people relocating to this city in their numbers. Mainland China seems to have the greater numbers of black people living there. So I came across an article stating that Hong Kong is in essence a classist society not a racist society. This means no matter what race you are, if you look like you are upper class you will be treated with respect.

If you dress like the Hong Kong people; that is wearing flashy designer clothes and watches then they will not feel threatened by you being black. The general assumption is that black people relocating to Hong Kong are usually academics with high academic qualifications or they own businesses and come to Hong Kong on business  and return to their countries. So these groups are not discriminated against and they are not that many to even worry about.

The Filipinos, Indonesians and other East Asian minorities are the ones with the “poor illegal immigrant” label in Hong Kong,not black people. This is only because of our small numbers so this is a mild comfort. Does it make it OK though?

My question is if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all? Why do we only respect blacks when they are educated and belonging to the upper class? So you are going to cover your nose when the “ordinary looking” black person sits next to you and you call yourself evolved? I know that any capitalist country will have classism as an issue and that is a whole other battle to fight. Our humanity is such that we fear anything that is different from us and we would rather not associate with it. And by “we” I mean all of us. Even black people say racist things about Chinese people and that is not OK either. It is our lack of understanding and it is sad that it has been discussed over and over and yet there is still no one with a solution to the problem.

My social investigations continue…but the experiences of that young woman and her mother on the MTR show that racism is alive and will not be going anywhere anytime soon…

Article first published on Getty’s personal blog: https://moretogetty.wordpress.com .Getty @jusgee_gee (IG), has bagged 2 degrees already and has just started work on her 3rd, a PHD. She’s in Hong Kong and is happy to share her experiences with all of us. Read On!!

 

HOW TO BECOME A CHANGE MAKER AGAINST ALL ODDS

by Tafadzwa Mhepoh | NUST-ZW

IMAGINE being born and growing up in a war zone. You never have a permanent place of residence, just always moving from place to place in a bid to escape death and survive. You never understand why people are getting killed and more so, why your parents and thousands of other families are suffering in the bushes.

For many years of your childhood you are not learning but just watching hundreds of children and adults, including your mom, die due to lack of medicine, food and clean water.

However, due to interventions by non-profit organizations such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, you are able to move to a refugee camp in a neighbouring country and start schooling there. Life in the camp is not rosy but you make a commitment to do your best, make the most of the opportunity and become a change maker.

Such is the story of Jacob Maluak Manyang a South-Sudanese student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL), United States. I met Jacob during a study abroad trip in the US early this year. Jacob was resettled in the United States in 2006 where he continued with his high school education. He had just turned 19.

23
Jacob Maluk Manyang.

Jacob who recently completed his degree in Agronomy and Crop Production is the founder of a student society called Save South Sudanese Orphans and Widows (SSSOW) at UNL. The student organization’s goal is to provide orphans and widows back in Sudan with basic necessities, which include basic education, clean water, and healthcare.

Jacob spoke at eloquent length about his motivation for establishing the organization and the roller-coaster ride it has been running an aid organization as a student.

“While living here in the US, I always think about ways to assist the many orphans and widows that are still suffering in South Sudan,” said Jacob. “After studying agronomy and crop production at UNL, my aim is to go back to the refugee camps and train orphans and widows in the agricultural skills that will help them produce their own food,” he added.

Jacob said the organization works to raise money in order to provide access to basic education and free, fresh water to South Sudan as well as Doctors and Dentists Without Borders to provide medical support to orphans and widows.

Activities of SSSOW in the United States include doing fundraising projects such as promotions and selling t-shirts; advertising the noble cause of the organization by talking to people and reaching out to leaders in the community and applying for grants from aid agencies.

Jacob’s goals this year are to raise about US$15 000 and visit Sudan at least once / twice in order to deliver aid and make a difference.

Responding to my question on challenges he faced in running the society, he mentioned that it was hard to find staff to run the non-profit establishment when he set up in 2013. However with a little perseverance, he was able to attract students from diverse backgrounds to help him fulfill his mission.

You too can help SSSOW make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters from other mothers by making a donation of at least US$1. Follow this link

http://www.savesouthsudaneseorphansandwidows.org

If you are inspired by Jacob’s story and are considering starting your own student society that could change other’s lives, check the next ARTICLE for a 9 point step -by-step guide of how to.