Category Archives: NEWS

47% OF UZ STUDENTS HIV+: MISLEADING, ZINASU

how some colleges and other national institutions are going about the release of information on HIV related issues is not only misleading but is unnecessarily causing stigma against students 

The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) has dismissed a report in the Herald of 20 May 2016 under the headline ‘47pc of UZ students HIV+’ as ‘misleading’ and ‘sensational.’
The story, which is mainly based on comments by the UZ Vice-Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura, claims that nearly half of the University of Zimbabwe students who recently underwent voluntary HIV testing were positive, prompting the institution to limit inter-residence visits between male and female students.
According to the report, a recent exercise conducted by the UZ showed that 47 percent of students who underwent testing and counselling tested HIV positive.

Speaking about the way in which the herald broke the story, Zinasu National Spokesperson Zivai Mhetu lamented the lack of adherence to journalism ethics by some papers in the country.
It is a public secret that the HIV prevalence rate is high not only among UZ students but also in the country where recent statistics put it at around 15%. That the HIV pandemic is real and is affecting a lot of young people is indisputable but how some colleges and other national institutions are going about the release of information on HIV related issues is not only misleading but is unnecessarily causing stigma against students from various institutions.

Mhetu
Zinasu national spokesperson Zivai Mhetu lamented the lack of adherence to journalism ethics by news media in the country and poor handling of sensitive information by institutions of higher learning.

 

Just last year the National Aids Council (NAC) Midlands provincial coordinator, Mr Mambewu Shumba, said HIV prevalence had shot up in his province due to the ‘generous’ sexual behaviour of students at MSU yet he provided absolutely no research to back this sensational claim.

The UZ has fallen victim to the same type of unguarded release of potentially harmful information.
“If we were to depend solely on the headline in the herald, it is not difficult to see how one can be misled to believe that 47pc of all students at the UZ are HIV positive,”Mhetu said. “Never mind that the story goes on to say that only 47% of students who underwent voluntary testing on campus are actually HIV+. A lot of people just read headlines without reading the entire story so journalists should be responsible on how they come up with them.”

The Zinasu Spokesperson added that the herald report is a perfect example of how important journalism ethics such as truthfulness, credibility and accuracy are often disregarded by reporters who choose to sensationalize issues, a process that can best be described as gutter journalism.
Mhetu also took a swipe at the herald for not providing sufficient information on the subject in question in its story.

“That story suffers from what I would like to call information kwashiorkor,” Mhetu said. “It is silent on exactly how many students were tested in the exercise so as to give a clear picture to the public on the degree of importance that should be given to the results of the exercise. What if only very few students who are not representative of the entire student body at the UZ were tested? Would that warrant the publication of this story whose effect has been to cause alarm and despondency within the UZ student community and the nation at large?”
Turning to the move to ban inter-residence visitations, Mhetu said it was ‘ill-advised’ and ‘misguided.’ He said Professor Levi Nyagura cannot ban inter-hostel visitations solely based on the results of the testing exercise because it does not prove that inter-hostel visitations are the cause of infection for those who were found positive after the testing exercise.

“Exactly how does Professor Nyagura come to the conclusion that those who were found HIV+ during the testing exercise were infected on campus thus warranting his move to bar inter-hostel visitations? Do students have no life out of campus? And are all the students who were tested living on campus when the tests were conducted? Furthermore, is it absolutely impossible and unfathomable that some of those who tested positive were born that way or got infected before coming to the UZ?”
Mhetu further went on to say that attempting to curtail sexual activity by implementing the ban on inter-residence visitations was a futile exercise because ‘the UZ is an institution for adults not primary school children.’
“You cannot stop sexually active people from having sex by barring inter-residence visitations. If they want to have sex they will have sex . Barring of inter-residence visitations is not a new idea at UZ. It was implemented before but it did not stop sexual activity. Students started having sex in open spaces, bushy areas and under trees. The ban is akin to forcing students to practice abstinence when it is not their wish to do so. It will not work. If the UZ Admin is really concerned about the health of students it should endeavour to ensure that protection is made widely available to students. It is sad that all this is happening at a time when students have no voice because the Admin banned SRC elections.”
Mhetu said that the story in the herald and other stories on the high prevalence of HIV in certain colleges are going to affect students on the job market as employers will be prejudiced against graduates from instructions that are said to have high HIV prevalence rates. He warned that students are now most likely going to shy away from getting tested as a result of the herald report which will result in lack of treatment and poor health.

Zinasu Information Department – Press Release

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12 000 students drop out of colleges: Zinasu

FARAYI MACHAMIRE

HARARE – At least 12 000 students from the country’s various tertiary institutions have been forced to drop out of school or defer their studies in the face of the deteriorating economic and political climate, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) said.

In a statement Zinasu said skyrocketing tertiary institution fees are beyond the reach of the majority who live under the poverty datum line.

“The majority of students in Zimbabwe are faced with debilitating financial constraints as most have civil servant and informal sector backed economic backgrounds,” Zinasu secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe said yesterday.

“Institutions like Zimbabwe School of Mines are charging $2 000 for tuition fees, Solusi University $ 1 500, National University of Science and Technology $800.

“At the University of Zimbabwe this semester alone, 2 800 students have either deferred or dropped out of school altogether due to tuition fee barriers. Great Zimbabwe University has 1 370 students’ deferments or dropouts, including almost 200 final year students …

“In teachers colleges, a total of 8 000 have been affected by the high tuition fees plague. In polytechnic colleges, some programmes …have been stopped as only four students only managed to pay tuition fees to register,” Haruzivishe said.

Despite the steep fees that students are being forced to pay Zinasu said infrastructure at most tertiary institutions is in a state of disrepair and inadequate to accommodate students.

“Buildings and other structures are either inadequate or unsuitable for the students’ needs or incomplete.

“The existing capacity for student’s accommodation in universities and polytechnic colleges can only cater for seven percent of the total enrolment…”, said Haruzivishe.

Noting the country’s power and water woes, Zinasu said a lack of proper sanitation has also impacted negatively on the operations of virtually all tertiary institutions.

Source Dailynews

NUST student blows fees, hangs self!!!

By Chronicle reporter
A NATIONAL University of Science and Technology (Nust) student hanged himself in his father’s house after blowing his college fees with a woman he met in a nightclub.
George Bonomali, 26, of Mkoba 15 in Gweru, hanged himself in his bedroom with a satellite dish cable on Monday at around 11AM.
Bonomali was, according to the police summary of death, a student at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo.
Sources said he was doing his final year studies in marketing.
The police report shows his girlfriend found him hanged, on the verge of death.
“Bonomali hanged himself in his bedroom with a satellite dish cable which was suspended from the roof truss. He was found by his girlfriend but it was too late to save his life,” reads part of the sudden death police report.
Neighbours yesterday told The Chronicle that Bonomali received an undisclosed amount of money from his aunt, who is based in the United Kingdom, for university fees.
The neighbours said instead of paying the fees, Bonomali squandered the money with a woman that he met in a Gweru nightclub.
“What we understand is that he had squandered his college tuition fees with a lady of the night and that didn’t go well with his father, a teacher at a local school,” said a neighbour, who did not wish to be named.
The neighbour said on March 14, at around 10AM, Bonomali was at his parents’ house waiting for his girlfriend only identified as Tanya
“He asked me if I had seen Tanya but I said ‘no’. He told me that he was tired with life and wanted to sleep. So I asked him if there was anything I could do to help but he said ‘no’. An hour later, I was surprised to hear that he had hanged himself in his bedroom. When I rushed there, I found his motionless body on the floor after Tanya had cut the cable from the truss and also removed the noose from his neck in an attempt to save his life,” the neighbor added.
He said George’s father, who teaches at Mpumelelo Primary School in Mkoba 15, got wind of the incident and rushed him to Mkoba Poly Clinic where the nurses pronounced him dead.
Joseph Salim Bonomali, the father, declined to speak to The Chronicle.
Nust’s director of information and public relations, Felix Moyo, said he could not comment as he was on leave.
Acting Midlands police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said investigations into the death were underway.
“I urge members of the public to attach value to life and taking one’s life is never an answer. There’s always a choice,” she said.

PAUDC Championship Comes To Zim

Staff Reporter

The Midlands State University has won the bid to host the Pan African Universities Debate Championship (PAUDC) in December 2016. The council committee accepted and approved Midlands State University to be the Host for the 2016 PAUDC.

This year’s championship will be held under the theme ‘Madzimbabwe’ derived from the ancient Zimbabwean empire Great Zimbabwe from which the country takes its name.

According to a statement from the MSU, this PAUDC will be the 9th edition of this prestigious competition.

The statement also emphasised that the competition is a great marketing and economic booster to Zimbabwe and the city of Gweru as hundreds of foreigners will be visiting the country and using  various services, products and infrastructure. This year will see a trophy being made in Zimbabwe that will be used for all future tournaments held by the PAUDC.

All events surrounding debate will be presented as ‪#‎road2madzimbabwe16‬.’We are honoured to follow this journey towards PAUDC 2016 in Zimbabwe!’, read part of the statement.

The MSU has consistently participated well in the previous competitions. The following exhibits the magnitude of achievements and honours the  Debaters won:

History made at PAUDC 2015 in Ghana

MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate team to have all its teams breaking into the Octo Finals
MSU was the 1st Debate team to have a Female Public Speaking Champion
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate Team to be awarded best Adjudicator in Public Speaking
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean institution to have two of their teams in the PAUDC semi-finals
MSU set a Zimbabwean record of having two teams breaking with a total of 20 team points
MSU is the 1st Zimbabwean institution to have teams breaking in the top 3 (2 MSU teams were in the top 3)
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate team to be in the PAUDC Finals
Awards & Achievements

2016 PAUDC official Hosts
PAUDC Council Deputy Executive Secretary
Overall Zimbabwe Best Speakers Award
Top Ten Best Speaker Award (position 4)
PAUDC Public Speaking Best Adjudicator
Top Ten Best Adjudicator Award (position 8)
PAUDC Octo-finalist (1 Team)
PAUDC Semi-finalist (1 Team)
PAUDC Finalist (1 team)
PAUDC Public Speaking Champions

( In picture: Eppnoggia Mutetwa, PAUDC 2015 Public speaking Champion)

ZINASU resists 2 UZ intakes per year

BY OBEY MANAYITI

THE Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) yesterday expressed displeasure at the University of Zimbabwe’s (UZ)decision to introduce two intakes per year, saying this will only pile pressure on scarce facilities at the State university.

Although the demonstration, organised by Zinasu at the UZ campus, flopped yesterday, reportedly due to heavy police presence, the student representative body said they would continue pushing to have the decision rescinded.

“We are defending the quality of education and reputation of our institution. As students, we can’t allow a situation where we will be at the receiving end,” Zinasu spokesperson, Zivai Mhetu said.

“We say no to the introduction of two intakes unless the university does infrastructure development first on key areas such as lecture rooms, hostels and the library.

“Any hurried decision will leave students in a sorry state, where they will be pushed to exchange accommodation for sex with gardeners and maids and other inhumane living conditions that will affect learning.”

But in an interview with NewsDay on Friday, UZ director of information, Daniel Chihombori dismissed claims that the introduction of two intakes was a move by the university to raise funds and fight competition from other universities like Midlands State University.

Chihombori defended the move, saying it was made to reduce the waiting period for university aspirants, as well as giving an opportunity to deserving candidates.

Asked if the university, which has about 4 000 carrying capacity in hostels, will be able to house the students, Chihombori said they would need support from the local communities to arrest the accommodation crisis.

Already surrounding neighbourhoods in Avondale, Mt Pleasant, Pomona and Vainona among others are making a killing renting out accommodation to students and might get more if demand increases.

However, Zinasu said it would continue mobilising it members until the university rectifies the matter.

“The heavy presence of police will not deter us as students and we will continue demonstrating until our plight is heard,” Mhetu said.

Source: Newsday