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By Takudzwah Mukono | As the students of Zimbabwe we have committed ourselves in protecting our right to education and in our call we are very explicit no to the commodification of education, no to fees hikes. In responding to a direct threat to our right to education through unreasonable fees being charged
by tertiary institutions we have called for a National Shutdown of all Tertiary Institutions in
Zimbabwe until the crisis is addressed. The shutdown will start on the 9th of May 2022.
- Failed Dialogue. ZINASU tried and exhausted all the available channels to engage institutions and
the Central Government. All these efforts were futile nobody took heed of our frank concerns. The shutting down of all institutions is coming in as a result of cold responses we received from the Tertiary Institutions and the Central Government.
- Increase in Students Dropouts and Deferences. These fees hikes have forced many to leave tertiary
institutions. In April 2022 more than 400 students were forced to defer by Midlands State University,
and this is disheartening.
- Almost three quarters of the students we are either children or are being looked after by civil
servants who are earning meaningless wages. These exorbitant fees have become a nightmare and
are not affordable. Teachers, nurses, soldiers, police forces and pensioners e.t.c cannot afford to pay
$80 000 per semester. The fees being charged are beyond our means.
- The resolve to be the vanguard of our right to education. The Constitution of Zimbabwe is
unambiguous and very clear when it comes to the right to quality and affordable education.
Exorbitant fees being charged have already threatened the constitution and declared war on our
right to education. It is our collective responsibility as the students of Zimbabwe to ensure we defend
this fundamental right.
- Affordable and Quality Education for all Zimbabweans. The current administration in 2018 promised free education and quality education, but what we have is the opposite. The 9th of May 2022 shutdown is a reminder to the ruling formation to live by its promises and commitments. The
government must deliver and the time to deliver is now.
- Abolishment of the fixed registration dates system. We are calling for all the tertiary institutions to totally do away with the system of imposing a registration time frame for the students. This system of fixed registration dates has been weaponized by tertiary institutions to defranchise
vulnerable students from accessing education.
- Establishment of an effective bargaining table amongst the Students, Tertiary Institutions and the Central Government. The existing means of communication amongst the three are vague and
bogus. We call for a revision of these channels and the involvement of students unions is very
crucial going forward.
- Respect for students academic freedoms.It is the culture of the govt to suppress genuine concerns from the students by using excessive force. An ethical and upright parent can not dish
out venom when what the children are asking for is water. We are only asking for quality and
affordable education police brutality doesn’t clear this crisis.
- We are calling for a total closure of all tertiary institutions on the 9th May until all these issues
which have been articulated in this blueprint are resolved. We are declaring zero business on all campuses across the country. Till the govt addresses these pertinent issues amicably we can then return to normalcy, failure to do so imply that all the tertiary institutions will be on a perennial state of closure. As ZINASU we are great full to those who have given us solidarity. We equally at this juncture call all the progressive forces across the social and political divide to support us on the 9th of May 2022 going forward in our call to have access to quality and affordable education.
These progressive forces includes, Citizens, Political Formations, Labor Movements, Churches and all Religious Groups
within and outside the Zimbabwe.
The Struggle Continue Unabated
Takudzwah Raynolds Mukono (Research Secretary)