Back to Index
reflections on Independence Day - Zimbabwe at 30
National Students Union (ZINASU)
April 16, 2010
"Just what happened
to the Jewel of Africa"
The Zimbabwe National
Students Union joins the rest of the nation in commemorating 30
years of the country's independence. The commemorations come
against a backdrop of continued student victimization, unaffordability
of education and a general decay in the quality of education offered
to students. The ideals of the liberation struggle and the dream
for a non racial society in which people are equal before the law,
the dream of a new prosperous society has been savagely destroyed
by ZANU PF vampire elites and its apple polishers.
This is the second independence
anniversary to be commemorated under the banner of the Inclusive
Government which was formed on 11 February 2008. The principals
of the hybrid Government are today locked in a bitter and unprincipled
fight for power with no progress and development having been registered
to date. Yet even with the stalled talks our President R. Mugabe
has no shame in announcing that ZANU PF is preparing for elections
with or without a constitution. What a negation of the liberation
struggle was fought against white supremacy, minority rule, and
injustices by the white colonial settlers, victimization, political
polarization but little has changed since Zimbabwe gained independence.
Today, 30 years into independence, the liberator has turned into
the oppressor employing the same tactics used during the colonial
Students in tertiary
institutions are among the majority of the disgruntled. On Independence
Day in 1980, President Robert Mugabe promised free education for
all at primary level and affordable quality education but instead
of the country moving towards attaining the above, the country is
in unprecedented regression and determined to obliterate what little
hope and aspirations present at independence. This is all because
of selfish and parochial political egos and an unbridled sense of
entitlement of a select group of politicians, the misguided notion
that the war was only fought by ZANU PF.
dictatorship tendencies, promotion of anarchy and disrespect of
the rule of law turned Zimbabwe into sorrowful state. Education
has become inaccessible to the majority of students with the year
2009 reporting the largest student drop our rate of 31 % since independence.
Tuition fees in State institutions are ranging from a steep USD200-
USD800 when civil service personnel earn a paltry USD 150.
Independence was supposed
to create conditions conducive for independent and critical intellectual
growth at institutions of higher learning, which in turn lead to
developments in research and of critical human resources. Instead,
the current crop of leaders who are ironically British and American
schooled have turned colleges into war zones with student liberties
as their number one targets. ZANU PF views students as political
opposition failing to realize that the student's quest for
such liberties is founded in the knowledge and understanding that
the war of liberation was waged for such freedom. Today institutions
of learning have been turned into torture chambers.
Since 2000, more than
400 students have been issued with indefinite suspensions and 50
with life expulsions for demonstrating against unaffordability of
education in Zimbabwe. These figures are astonishingly larger than
the number of students who were either suspended or expelled during
the colonial era. Many prominent politicians and businessmen of
today attained their education during the colonial era, the likes
of the President Robert Mugabe himself and many of his allies for
example the Minister of Higher education, Dr Stan Mudenge who are
now busy depriving the students of today the right to attain affordable
and quality education. They attained their education through grants
and loans from the Government which made it easy for them to continue
pursuing their education. Some students are now engaging in illicit
activities to raise the fees thus exposing them to deadly diseases
for example HIV/AIDS. Students are being forced to apply from the
restrictive cadetship programme which contains clauses that are
tantamount to slavery.
The Government has been
busy investing in organs like the defense against imaginary enemies
neglecting the education sector as if Zimbabwe is in war. The Government
of Robert Mugabe has been busy dishing scholarships to pro ZANU
Pf students to study abroad while local students suffer in an environment
fraught with serious brain drain. In 2009 alone, the Government
used USD12million to fund the presidential Scholarship, a huge amount
that could have been used to resuscitate the local education sector.
Our independence message
to those in Government is unequivocal and loud. We demand academic
freedoms and fundamental rights today. We draw our inspiration from
Leopold Takawira, Joshua Nkomo, Josiah Magama Tongogara, Sally Mugabe,
Herbert Chitepo, Jason Moyo, Alfred Nikita Mangena and all luminaries
of the struggle for independence. 18 April reminds us of our duty
to protect the revolution from the current selfishness and greed
of our former liberators who hide behind air conditioned offices
looting diamonds from Chiadza fields.
Academic freedoms in Zimbabwe"
Visit the ZINASU
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.