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  • Strikes and Protests 2007/8 - Students

  • No lecturers, No lectures at the University of Zimbabwe
    Tabani Moyo, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
    February 27, 2007

    Lectures at the biggest state university in Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) have failed to take off following on going strikes by academic staff and threats by non academic staff to initiate strikes tomorrow. Other state universities around the country have also been affected.

    The strikes, which come at a time when civil  servants are discontent with their remuneration, have forced the three biggest universities, UZ, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Midlands State University (MSU) to delay opening as lecturers have vowed to continue with the industrial actions until their demands are met.

    UZ which was supposed to have opened on the 12th of February 2007 opened its doors to students on the 26 th of February 2007. NUST had resolved to resume lectures on the 29th of January but instead they were forced to postpone to February 12 2007 although lecturers continued their strike. MSU is scheduled to commence lectures next week on the 5 th of March after they failed to commence on the 5th of February 2007.

    Lecturers at all the institutions have vowed not to teach until the government and their councils gave them increments. At present, they are being awarded paltry salaries of between $200 000 and $500 000 after deductions. Currently, the Poverty Datum Line currently stands at $566 400, a figure which continues to surge.

    In other countries in the Southern region for example Botswana , lecturers earn high salaries of no less than 10 000 pula ($9 million on the black market). Zimbabwe 's professionals have now been turned into beggars and paupers resulting in a massive brain drain.

    Doctors were on strike for almost a month since the 21st of December 2006 demanding salaries which were at par with their job requirements and academic qualifications. Nurses also embarked on a nationwide strike on the 11th of January 2007 and only returned to work after they were promised increments by the state although they are still not fully operational.

    Just recently, teachers ended a 17 day strike albeit their grievances had not been met fully. They were demanding salaries that are in tandem with the ever rising cost of living.

    The students will be starting their class boycott on Monday 5 March 2007 until their demands are met.

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