Press Release|Zinasu Information Department| University of Zimbabwe
President Mugabe’s 1 million dollar donation to the African Union which sent tongues wagging this week could have paid school fees for at least 2 000 students, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has claimed.
This comes after medicine students recently held protests over their inability to pay high fees at the University of Zimbabwe(UZ), leading to the arrest and detention of several student leaders, among them Zinasu spokesperson Zivai Mhetu and UZ Students’ Union treasurer general Ignatious Mukwichi and secretary for sports Kudakwashe Guta.
President Mugabe, who also doubles as the UZ Chancellor, could have used the 1 million to pay fees for 2 000 struggling students at the biggest university in the country if he really had their plight at heart, Zinasu spokeperson, Mr Zivai Mhetu, said.
Not more than a week ago students were up in arms at UZ because they are unable to pay the increasingly unaffordable tuition fees only to hear that their Chancellor is giving away 1 million dollars to the AU as if he has dealt with all the problems affecting people in his own country.
“Donations should be made by the Bill Gates of this world who have more money than they can spend not Heads of States of impoverished countries whose citizens are wallowing in abject poverty and absolute misery said Mhetu”
Fees for general programmes at UZ were around five hundred dollars meaning that had he chosen to, Mugabe could have paid fees for at least 2 000 students at the institution, many of whom are being forced to defer their studies or drop out completely because of their inability to pay fees.
Countless students are being forced to drop out of school, not at the UZ alone but countrywide. It is against this background that we have been clamouring for grants and loans. But instead of giving us grants and loans the Head of our government and all State Universities is busy dishing out money to international organizations as if he is a one-man donor agency competing with the US-Aid.” said Mhetu.
Students at the tertiary level in Zimbabwe have been dropping out of school en masse due to economic hardships with Zinasu claiming that 12 000 students dropped out of school countrywide in the first quarter of 2016 alone.